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'Carad pob tin ei gynheitref"— L// tvny 9n$ Unn his m/iW 
fb«#.— Welsh Provbrb. 



' TIt i n ifcuj ' o o" 


In presenting this volume-^ History of my native Parish of Llan- 
gynwyd* to the public, I beg to acknowledge the great assistance of 
several edteemed friends. First and foremost, I have to express my 
thanks to oar Vicar, for his kind permission to make use of his 
contributions in the old Bridgtnd ChronicU, on the Rev. Samuel Jones, 
of Brynllywarch ; as well as letters written by the late Mrs. Pendril 
Llewelyn, in the Mtrtkyr Guardian (1845), and her translations of 
Will Hopkin's Songs. I am also indebted to tbe Vicar for his 
permission to search the Pari&h Registers, and his willing help in 
deciphering many a partially obliierated passage in the older records. 

I am, likewise, under great obligation to David Jones, Esq., 
Norton Lodge, Wallington, for his kind, and, indeed, invaluable akl, in 
obtaining for me, from the Record Office, the Dritish Museum, &c., 
transcripts of the ancient documents, and other material contained ia 
the present History, and for many useful suggestions and much 
kind help. 

My ,best thanks are also due to Mr. Rhys D. Morgan {Ab 
LUurwg), Maesteg, for translating, expressly for this work, several 
songs and firagmenu of poetry, and for other valuable assistance. 
While the labour of procuring facts and searching for material has 
devolved upon myself, I am indebted to Mr. Morgan for much in 
the way of amplification and criticism upon subjects with which he 
b well known to be conversant. Notably has this been the case in 
the passages referring to the Ledgers of the Rev. John Pftrry, and 
the various local poets. 

Last, but not least, must be mentk>ned the late Mr. John Howells» 
of St. Athan, to whom I am indebted for many favours. It is to 
be r^pretted that Mr. Howells's contributions to the English Piess 
are net better known by his own conntrymetf. He was a maa 


vicbly endowed with thoea high mental qvalificatioM which conetitnte 
the tme genias. 

I trust that the friends among whom I have lived will not deeci 
it presvmptnotts in me that I appear before them in the capacity oC 
a local historian. The work has entailed a considerable amonnt oC 
labonr, and has not been defoid of anxiety. I have no other am* 
bition than to be the means of rascning and preservfaig, for the 
generations that will follow, the history, traditions, and the conver* 
aation of the native inhabitants of this typical old Welsh Parish; 
nnd should my efforts prove interesting to the many sons and 
daughters of "Yn Hbm Blwyf/' who may be fMud scattered over 
the four quarters of the globs^ and remind theai, wherever they may 
be, of the happy days wpnt among these hills, I shall fsel content. 

Cars has been taken not to make use of any qnoUtion without 
iuCsrsnoe to the original, from which it wOl be obeerved how gnat 
sure my obligatkms to others in this lespeet 

With these explanations, I deeirs to submit the toil of yean to 
the Judgment of my raaders. 

if/ftf, i88y. 



Kame of the Parish.— Patron Saint— Situation— Estnt— 
Division.— Papulation.— The Kiver Llyfowy.— Geologjr.— Soil* 
Ac. ••• ••• ... ... ••• ••• '"^3 


The varied spelling of Uangynwyd in ancient documents.— Why 
called •* Yf Htn Blu^/.'^—The Lordship of Uangynwyd or 
*' Tir /tfr//.'*— The area of this Lordship reduced by Kobert« 
Earl of Qloucester.— The earliest inquisition extant respecting 
this Lordship.— Also one in the reign of Edward the First, and 
Edward the Third.— The first survey of the Parish. • • 4—8 


Ecclesiastical History.— The {Greater or Rectorial Tithes.— 
Farming of the Rectoiy of Uangynwyd.— Letters Patent 
dated X544.— Valuation of Vicarage and Uving.— List of 
Vicars.— Churches of Maesteg and Spelter.— An old Terrier 9—15 


Full description of the Church.— Baiden Chapel.— The Bellfl.- 
The Church Plate.— Extracts from the Parish RegistersL— 
The Rev. John Pany's Ledgers.— Monumental Inscriptions.— 
The ruins of the Old Castle.— The Roman Camp.— 7mm/«M 
Z)ii«/i/A.— The Lettered Stone on Maiigam Mountain.— And 
the Chancel Stone .•• .•• ••• — 16-39 


The Roman Catholic Chapel.— The IndependentiL— Welsh 
Calvinistie Methodists.— Baptisto.—Wesleyans.— The Maest^ 
Town Hall.— Elementary Schools ... ••• 40—49 




latrodttctioa. - The sf artiog of the Old Works.— The Spelter 
WorkiL— The Cambrtao Iron Co.— Ty-chwyth.— Gerth and 
Cwnda.— The Oakwood Colliery.— The Uwydarth Tiopltte 
Works.— The Uyofi end Ogmore Railway.-* Talledw Mill ... 30—97 

The Chair of Tlr larll— By whom established.— Rules and 
customs of the Chair. — Held under the sanction of the 
Lordship of Glamorgan.— How degrees were conferred.— 
A Chair of Assembly.— Places of Assembly.— Further notice 
of the Chair.— Length of time it flourished.— List of Bardic 
•uccesswo, from a.d. 1300 to 17G0.— Date of last memorable 
meetings.-- Fisdigree of Madoc Vychan, Steward of Tir larll. 
— Spedment of Poetry ... ... ••• ... 68—78^ 


Brynllywarch.— Short description of the farm house.— Extracts 
from letters on the Rev. Samuel Jones, M.A.. by the Rev. R. 
P. Llewelyn, M.A., in the old Bridgend CkroHitU.'^^x, 
Jones, after he was ejected from the Parish Church, established 
Wonconfo r mist Churches, and the first Nonconformist School 
in Wales ••• ••• ... ... .«. 80— 8a 


Cbpn Ydpa : its situation.— Mr. Thomas, father of the ** Maid 
of CeliB Ydla.'*— The Courtship of Ann Thomas with Will 
Hopldn, the bard.— Her marriage to. Anthony Maddocks. of 
Cwm-yr-isga, and its sad consequences.- The marrisge settle- 
ment—The death of the Maid; also of Will Hopkin.— Mr. 
Maddocks building a mansion, and marrying a second wife.— 
His practice as a lawyer.— Extracts from his ledgers, Ac. ••• 89— lofr 


Local Pobts: Will Hopkin.— Phillip Rowlands.— John Brad- 
lord.— David Nicholan— The Williams' family, of Brynyfro.— 
Will o'r VoeL— Siama Twrbil, Ac, Llewelyn David, of Uwyni, 
and Jack J Gof ... ••• ... ••• ... 209—131 


Tbe Makbof Gelly Leaor.— The Ghost of Fttitre.— The legend 

of the diviiiosol the Parishes of Llangynwyd and Margam ... 133- 241 



Colloquial Words and ExpretsioDi, collected within the Pariah of 
LiMngynwyd, — Weather PrognoeticationiL •— SuperatitioBH— 
WelliL— Remarkable eTenta.~01d weighu and measnrea ... I4a-*i54 

Nursery rhymes.— Ancieot customs and obsenrances.— Gwyl 
Mabsant—The Parish Wake, or Vigil of the Patron Saint- 
Carol Singing.— Wassailing.— Y Gaseg Fedi«— The Cooltria 
Feast- All Hallows* Eve.— New Year, Ac. ... ... I55— '64 


Supernatural beliefi.— Love Spells.— Phantom Funerals.— Signs 
of the approach of Death.— Experiences premonitory of 
Accidental Death— A young Samuel in the Pit— A familiar 
Spirit ... ... ... ... ••• 165—175 


feuan Fawr Ap y Diwlith (1x70).— Twm Ifan Pry8,-The Maids 
of Tytalwyn.— Anthony Powell/ of Llwydarth.— Powells, of 
IIaesteg.~David Nicholas, Aberpergwm.— The Gelly Family. 
—Mrs. Pendril Llewelyn, Uan Vicarage.— Instances of 
unusual longevity ... ... ••• ••• 176— X9S 



Name of the Parish.— Patron Saint.— Situation— Extent.— Division.^ 
Population— The river Llyfbwy.— Geology.— Soil, Ac. 

HE prefix Llan was at first applied to churches 
and chapels indiscriminately, and in determining 
the antiquity of chapels, it may be considered that 
such as have their names compounded with this 
word are of the older kind. But a6 the word is 
understood at i)resent it means not only the Church, but the 
sacred spot which surrounds it, and in this sense the idea of 
'* Enclosure *' is also observable in its compounds : GwinHan^ 
perilaUf ccrlan, ydlan, &c,^ 

The most common names of Parishes in Glamorganshire 
are compounded of Lla$t, a village church, or place of 
meeting, prefixed to the name of the adopted patron saint 
of the place: the patron saint of this church being St; 
Cynwyd, — hence Llangynwyd. In the Genealogy of the 
Cambro British Saints, St. Cynwyd is represented to have 
been the son of Cynfelyn, the son of Garth wys, the son of 
M6r, the son of Ceneu, the son of Coel Codebog, St. 
Cynwyd and his five sons, Clydno, Eiddyn, Cynan, Cyn- 
felyn Drwsgwl, and Cadrod, are said to have been chieftains 
of North Britain, who had embraced a religious life, and 
become saints of the congregation of St. Catwg at Llan* 
carfan, and St. Cynwyd is presumed to have been the 
founder of Llangynwyd.f He is mentioned in some old 
writings as ^* Cynwyd Cynwydion"^ and ** Cynwyd Fawf^^ 
evidently to distinguish him from other persons of the same 
name, but of less celebrity. It may be further mentioned 
that the names of his sons, Cynan and Cadrod, are still 
retained to this day in the names of the two largest farms in 
the Middle Hamlet, namely, Bryncynan and Maescadrod. 

• Vide Reea'i Welah Sainta. 


t Owen's Cambrian Biography. 


The manner in which the Parish is set forth in ecde* 
siastical documents is generally ** Llangynwyd with Baiden.** 
Baiden is the old name for the Hamlet which is now styled 
Llangynwyd Lower. The change in the name was made at 
the time of the introduction of the new Poor Law Act, 
about 1836. The old name (Baiden) is still retained in 
County Lists of Voters, Land Tax papers, &c. 

The Parish of Llangynwyd is situated in the Hundred of 
Newcastle, in the Parliamentary division of Mid Glamorgan ; 
and forms the largest portion of the ancient Manor of Tir 
larll, i^M EarVs Land, It consists of four Hamlets (the 
Parish Church being in the Middle Hamlet), which are 
called by the natives *' Parcels," seemingly the same as the 
Norman French ParcelU^ and, doubtless, have been in use 
by the inhabitants since the Norman knights took possession 
to themselves of the best part of Glamorganshire after the 
Conquest. The higher Hamlet, and the most northern, is in 
the Neath Poor Law Union, the other three are in the 
Bridgend and Gowbridge Union. 

The Parish is about eif^ht miles long, and the average 
breadth is about three miles, consisting of 15,461 acres, 
I rood, and 17 perches; the acreage of the different Hamlets 
being as follows: — 

A. R. F. 

Uanrawjpd Higher ... ... 6623 i 13 

Cwmdo •«. ... 4179 3 20 

LlaDfcynwyd Middle ... ... 2586 s 37 

Llangynwyd Lower, or Baiden ... 2070 i 27 

The population of Llangynwyd Parish in the year 1801 was 
only 80^; in 1831, it had increased to 1726, but the last 
census snowed a more remarkable increase still, on account 
of the extensive Coal and Iron industries which have been 
developed in the Cwmdu and Higher Hamlets. The returns 
for 1881 were as follows : — 

y»MM«f avaPArMMi. 




Cwndn ... ... 

... 3181 



Llangynwyd Middle 

... 3«4 



„ Lower^ 





... 1296 



Total ... 5049 4733 978* 

The Valley is named after the Llynfi river, which runs 
in a southemly direction, rising at a place called Coed* 
cat'ffvrch, and flowing for some miles through the centre 
of the Parish, receiving in its course several tributary 
brooks, until it takes in the Cwmdu brook below Pontrhydy- 
cyff, when it comes in contact with the Parish of Bettws, 


and forms the eastern boundary of the Middle and Lower 
Hamlets ; until about a mile below the «»outhern boundary 
of the Parish it empties itself into the master drain of the 
district, the Ogmore, near St. Brides Minor. The greater 
portion of the Parish is wild and mountainous, abounding in. 
mineral wealth, the development of which will be noticed in 
a succeeding chapter; the chief mountains being Pwll^y- 
Iwrch, the Gam^Wen, and Mynydd-y-Caerau, 

Geologically, the formation is that known as the Car- 
boniferous, or coal-bearing rocks, and most of the Parish is 
on that section called the Pennant Sandstone. The soil 
consists mainly of the broken-up fragments of the sandstone, 
and the small beds of clay that occur in it, in some places 
reduced to a state of gravel, &c., by denudation ; where the 
clay occurs, the water fails to penetrate the sandstone, with 
the result that beds of Peat abound in different places. 
That portion of the land, which is of a gravelly nature, is 
most amenable to tillage. The chief landowners in the 
parish are Lord Dunraven ; C. R. M. Talbot, Esq., M.P. ; 
J. P. Treherne, Esq., Coytrehen ; Colonel Turberville, 
Ewenni; and Wm. Llewelyn, Esq., of Court Colman. 
Llangynwyd Parish seems to remain, one of the very 
few which are left, of the typical old Welsh Parishes. 
Ancient customs and traditions, which in other parts of 
the country were long ago lost sight of and forgotten, 
are here only within comparatively the last few years 
passing away; indeed, many of them are even yet spoken 
of, and remembered. Hidden among the barren hills, far 
away from the highroad of business, Llangynwyd has been 
left behind by the progressing world, and were it not for the 
discovery of the immense wealth of Coal and Iron, which 
the hitherto despised hills contained, it might even now be 
what it was described by the Esquire of Margam to have 
been some 70 years ago, ** A gloomy valley, in which the 
only living inhabitants seemed to be, an old oak tree, and 
a venerable raven.'** 

Now, however, times have changed. Llangynwyd has to 
a great extent taken up a place in the march of progress, 
and though its development has only been as yet very par- . 
tial, we find that the old landmarks are fast bemg removed, 
and that the tramp of commerce has in a few snort years 
done more to obliterate its many relics of antiquity, (ha^n 
had the gentle foot of time in as many centuries. 

*Mr. C. R. M. Talbot, in a speech at the laying of the memorial stone c£ 
the Maesteg Town Hali 


The Taried spelltog of LUngynwyd ia ancient documenta.— Wby called '* Yt 
Hm Btwjif,"-^Tht Lordship of Llangynwyd or Tir larll.— The ana 
of this Lordship reduced by Robert. Earl of Gloucester.— The 
earliest ioquisition extast respecting this Lordship.— Also in the reign 
of Edward the First and Edward the Third.— The first Survey of the 

fHE Parish Register, dated 1662, is inscribed as that of 
" Liangonwyd." In the reigns of the Georges the 
name of the Parish appears under the several forms of 
Llangonnoyd, Llangonoyd, Llangonwyd, Llangynod, Llan* 
gynwyd Vawr, Llangynwyd, &c., at which latter change 
seems to have stopped, etymologists apparently being satis- 
fied that the acme of purity has been attained. Examples of. 
this varied spelling will be presented to the reader in the 
ancient documents to be cited in the course of this history, 
and he will then be able to follow in detail the several 
mutations which have been here summarised. 

In the familiar speech of the natives and older inhabi- 
tants of the Parish, amongst themselves and their neighbours, 
the Village of Llangynwyd is known by the affectionate 
diminutive of " Llan " ; — while the Parish itself passes under 
the name of ** Yr Hen Blwyf,** Names of this kind have 
•ometimes been given by the inhabitants themselves in praise 
of the place they live at, or in glorification of some peculiar 
and valued characteristic ; but quite as often it has been 
bestowed by spiteful neighbours to perpetuate the recollec- 
tion of some unfortunate circumstance of olden time, which 
the new dwellers in the place would willingly wish forgotten. 
Respecting the name of ** Yr Hen Blwyf" there is a tradition 
which ascribes its origin to a source such as that just hinted 
at. A carpenter in the Parish, it is said, had to make a 
coffin for a young man, aged eight and twenty, and, having 
to put the age upon the lid, was sorely puzzled how to 
express the age in figures. Recollecting at last that four 
sevens made eight and twenty, he solved the difficulty by 
inscribing upon the coffin lid : — 7777* He was quite satis- 


fied with this new %ty\e of numeration until it came to be 
subjected to public criticism, when he found he had made a 
ridiculous mistake. This, says the tradition, was the occa- 
sion which gave the name oi " Yr Hen Blwvf" to Llangyn* 
wyd. It is probably what the Italians call hen irovato: tnat 
is, '* Well found,'* or invented, and is no doubt the invention 
of a local wag. Another and jfar better origin for the name is 
found in the fact that the Parish was once co-extensive with 
the large Lordship of ** Llangynwyd " (for the name mentioned 
by Leland, Tir y arlth, or Tir larll, was its popular and not its 
official title), and included the Parishes of Margam, Pyle, 
Kenfig, Bettws, as well as what is now known as Llangyn- 
wyd proper. Let it be here remembered that in ancient 
times the division of the country into Parishes (as we under- 
stand the term) did not exist in Wales in any strict sense 
until long after the Norman adventurers had established 
themselves, and had divided and sub-divided their concjuests. 
Indeed, it may be doubted whether the boundaries of 
Parishes were fixed with exactness throughout Wales — 
particularly in the hilly parts of the country — much before 
the reign of Henry VIII. This, it may be inferred, was the 
reason why the diminished area finally left as the Parish of 
the mother Church of Llangynwyd came to be called ** Yr 
Hen Blwyf:* 

The Lordship of Llangynwyd^ or Tir larll. — The history of 
this Lordship begins really with the assumption of ownership 
by Fitzhamon as part of the spoil which he retained for 
himself out of the conquest of Glamorgan. There is, indeed, 
what purports to be an earlier notice of it to be found in the 
lolo M,S.S., but that portion of the old Bard*s gleanings is of 
very doubtful authenticity, and must be received with 
caution. It will there be found stated that the dispossessed 
" Lord of Llangynwyd and Tir larll " was ** David, the son of 
Owen Goch, the son of Ithel, and that his arms were ' sable ' 
a chevron argent, between three wolves' heads or snouts 
goutte's de Sang." This careful addition of the ** arms " 
borne by the unhappy chieftain quite spoils the illusion, 
which might otherwise perhaps be conjured up, respecting 
the existence of this David ab Owen Goch, for the science of 
heraldry did not exist in those early days, nor, indeed, in the 
fully developed form of the legend quoted until two hundred 
years later. 

The Lordship as it existed in Fitzhamon *s time was one of 
noble proportions, and such as the conqueror of Glamorgan 
might well apportion to himself, as his share of the plunder 
in the western part of the County. According to present 


measurement the modern Parishes of Llangynwyd, Margam, 
Pyle (with Keufig), and Bettws make up between them 
the respectable total of 411854 acres. Fitzhamon is not 
often thought of in connection with this Lordship. It is 
recollected that he re&ided sometimes at the Castle of Kenfig 
(within the Lordship), and with that recollection most people 
seem to be content, prefeiing to think of him as more closely 
associated with the imposing Castle of Cardiff, or perchance 
with his Grange at Boverton. But we may be quite sure 
that if the history of the Lordship of ** Llangynwyd " for 
this period could be recovered, it would be found that 
Fitzhamon's having so large a tract of country in this part 
of his Seignory, had much influence in consolidating his con* 
quest. His successor, Robert le Fitz le Hoy, Earl of Gloucester, 
curtailed this Lordship considerably by the extensive grant 
of lands made by him to the Aobey of Margam which 
he had founded ; constituting the land so granted a Lordship 
of itself. Other portions were severed by sub-feudation— as 
Hafod-y-portk^ &c. ; eventually the Lordship of <' Tir larll " 
(as it came to be called from the Earl of Gloucester,* its 
owner) was reduced to the area of the Parishes of Llan* 
gynwyd and Bettws. The Lordship is self-contained and 
compact, neither extending into nor including parts of any 
other Lordships. The earliest inquisition extant respecting 
the Lordship is one held in the 46th year of the reign of 
Henry IH. a.d. 1262, when the value was found to be 
£2y 9S. 7^. It will be noticed that at this time the Mill 
at Kenfig forms part of the manorial property. The fact 
that eighty houses had been destroyed in the war, tells us 
that the outer Welsh had no regard tor their fellow country- 
men who had bowed to Norman rule, but harassed them 
without mercy. The following is a copy of the original 
document :— <* Extent de Langunite per preceptum Domini 
Regis facti per sacramentum Griffini ab Rees, William ab 
Yorath, Roger ab Griffio, Owen ab Yorath, Llewelyn ab Yvor, 
Tudor ab Rees, Rees ab Owen, Owen ab Rees, Caradoc 
ab Gwallter, Madouc Vychan, Yorath ab Gronow, Howel 
ab Phillip— 

* Robert, Barl of Gloucester and bis sucoesson appear to have made 
great efibrts to conciliate the people to their rule by numerous concessions 
of a popular character. The men of the hills were allowed to retain un- 
molested their **iloss A Dbfod"— and other local customs to which they 
were attached; and in the Lordship of ** Tir larll " the national taste for 
poetry and bardic contests were encourased by the De Clare, who 
endowed the Bardic Chair of Tir larll with sundry privilefes and profits, 
of which mention will be made when the chair itseu becomes the subject 
of a ehapter. 


U. $. 4, 

§ai dicunt quod de reddit atsiio . . iiij iij iij ob. 

t de redd molendini quod est ad laodi... — L — 

Et de coDsuetudine ad LArdarium ... — jud *• 

Et sunt xij acrea terra que valeot •• — y .. 

Et de plaucett et periguesittia cur ... vii — — 

£t moleiidmiun de Kenefoic valet ••• xij xiij Hij 

Samina ••• M'xzvi ix vij oU. 

'< Et dominus Rogerus de Clifford de domo domioi com^ 
tenet totum residunm ejusium villa de Kenefoic et est ibt 
advocatio Ecclesia de Langonit quae pertinet ad com qua 
valet vj Marcas." 

** Et las ibi iiij" Mansiones destruct per guerram." Then 
follow the names of the jury in order as above. In an 
inquisition post mortem in the 24th year of Edward I. it 
appears as ** Tirarthle Extent/' in the 23rd of Edward III. 
as Traharhch (?) Castrum et roanerium et extenta. 

The earliest known survey was that held September 8th, 
1650, under Philip, Earl of Pembroke, bv Sir James Palmer, 
Knt. ; William Herbert, of Swansea ; William Herbert, of 
Cogan, Esquires, and other commissioners. The boundaries 
are the Parish of Llangeinor in the Manor of Ogmore, to the 
East ; to the south the Manor of Newcastle, Court Colman, 
and Tythegstone; to the west the Lordship of Havod-y- 
Porth and Margam ; and to the north the Parishes (?) of 
Michaelstone- super- Afon and Glyncorrwg in the Lordship 
of Avan Wallia. 

The lands are freehold, leasehold, and by patent; 
meaning presumably by grant. There are two Courts Leet 
annually on the davs of Saints Phillip and Jacob (1st May), 
and Samt Michael (September 29th). At one of these the 
Grand Jury choose three sufficient tenants from whom the 
lord selects one bedell or bailiff, who is also steward. A 
Court Baron may be held monthly if required. The heir 
of a tenant dving in the Manor is subject to a heriot of the 
second best beast. The lord has 5s. m every alienation, and 
5S. 8d. from every stranger purchasing. The tenants and 
resiants have common of pasturage in the lord's Forest on 
Forest Vawr of about 500 acres. There is no suit of 
Mill. Sir Thomas Mansell has the advowfon of LlanTOnydd. 
There is coal under Forest, or Brombil. the lord's land. The 
tenants usually mustered with their a^ms before Sir Thomas 
Mansell as a lieutenant of the Hurdred. Tenants are told 
off to watch two beacons at Mynydd y Coir (in the Parish of 
Uangynwyd), and Y Vod Vawr^ in the Parish of Margam. 


•* Mizes " are due from the tenants and inhabitants, being 
/36 payable in equal instainaents in 5 years, beginning at the 
first 8t. Barnabas Day after entry. 

In 1650, a mined wall was reputed to have been a Castle, 
and Forest Vawr was also called " Ffonsi y Castellf Mynydd 
y Garr**^which name however is more likely to be derived 
from a camp than a castle. At times the tenants of the 
manor seem to have been turbulent, for in the account of 
B. de Badlesmeie 2nd Edward IL, he gave credit for two 
hundred marcs received from the men of Neath, and fifty 
£rom those of Tir larll on account ol fines imposed upon 
them of 400, and of 200 marcs respectively, for having risen 
against the Kine. 

The Lordship of Tir larll followed the descent of the 
County fee until Thomas, Viscount Windsor, sold it with 
other Western Lordship«i to Mr. Herbert Mackworth, of 
the Gnoll, who sold it to Mr. H. Grant. It is now vested in 
the devisee of the late H. Grant, his son, who died in i86t. 

Theu parikidan of ths Manor an from a sories of ArticUi m 
iks Matters of GUmor^an^ which appeand m Vol. 9, ^h sorios 
cf Uu Arch. Camhrofuts from ths pen of Col, Clarh. 



Ecclesiastical History.— The greater or Rectorial tithes,— Farming of 
the Rectory of Uaogyswyd— Letters Patent dated 1544.— Valuation 
of Vicarage, and Living.— List of Vicars.— Churches of Maesteg and 
Spelter.— An old Terrier. 

fHE greater or Rectorial Tithes of the Parish of 
Llangynwyd, were, previous to the Reformatioiii 
annexed to the Abbey of the ** Blessed Virgin " at 
Margam. In the valuation of the temporalities of the 
* Abbey, taken at the Dissolution, Llangynwyr (which I take 
to be Llangynwyd) appears valued in <' Redit Assize" at 
iij** vi, viij*. There is also a •• Tythvng Barn ** valued at xl,. 
The ** farming '* of the Rectory of Llangynwyd was on the 
nth December, 1537 (28th Henry VI II.), devised to Lewis 
Blethen for twenty one years. In the xoth of James I., ^613, . 
these tithes are in the hands of Henry Doddington as Crown 
Farmer of the same. He brings an action in that year 
against one Owen Parkins for tithe of lambs In the Ex- 
chequer Court, of which the following summary taken from 
the official records may be given : — 

** Llangonwood — Rectory of Henricus Doddington Crown 
Farmer of the Rectory of Llangonwood, and of the Chapelries 
of Hafodeporth, Llanfigeleth, Trisent, and Crickfeme, Gla- 
morganshire ; brings an action of Trover against Owinus 
Parkins with respect to certain lambs parcel of the tythes of 
the said Rectory and Chapelries. 

** The Jury say with respect to parcel of the trespass, to 
wit, one lamb of the one hundred mentioned in the declara- 
tion ; that the Crown being seized in demesne and as of fee 
of, and in the said Rectory with the aforesaid Chapelries on 
the nth December, 28th Hen. VIII., under the Seal of the 
Court of Augmentations demised them to me, Lodivicus 
Blethen, for 21 years by the name of the Rectorv of the 
Parish Church of Llangonwood, in the Diocese of Llandaff, 
appertaining to the late Monastery of Margam, with Chapel- 
ries of Hafodeporth, Trisant, Llanfigelleth, and Crickferne: 
with all houses, barns, tythes, &c., &c., to the same belong- 
ing in Llangonwood, Hafodeporth, Trisant, LlanfigelletEt 


Crickferne, CrykasteU, South-feller, and Indifferne Froddellr 
and ex parU bonali aquae d$ Ktnfig. 

" And the Jury further say that by Letters Patent dated 
5th August, 35th Henrv VIII. (1544}, the Crown being seized 
in demesne as of fee of, and in the following lands, &c. Hate 
parcel of the possessions of the said Monastery) grantea for 
ever to Risius Mansell, Mil, the Manors of Horgro alia$ 
Horcprove, and Pille alias Pyle, in the Co. of Glamorgan, in 
South Wales, with all their appurtenances whatsoever in the 
towns, fields, Parish or Hamlet of Horco alias Horgro, and 
Pille altas Pyle, aforesaid, and a Water Mill with the 
appurtenances called Shippes Miiis in the Town of Margam, 
with its appurtenances; also the Messuage called the 
Towen in Margam together with eight acres of arable, 
and six acres of pasture land to -the same belonging: also 
the site of a late Water Mill called Cricke Mil, in Cricke, in 
the said Parish, together with all other the Crown possession, 
late appertaining to the said Monastery in Brodemede, 
Brombil, Eglose Nunney, Crvke, and Pentre, in the said 
Parish of Margam, and in the Parishes of Marcrose and 
Pille alias Pyle, to be by him held in as full and ample a 
manner as the same were enjoyed by the late Monastery. 
By virtue of which grant the said Risius Mansell became 
seized in demesne as of fee of and in the premises and upon 
his death they descended to Edwardus Mansell, Mil: as his 
son and heir who also dving, they descended to Thomas 
Mansell, Mil : as son and heir of the said Edwardus. 

" And the Jury further say that subsequently by Letters 
Patent made 17th July, 37th Henry VIII., the Crown 
granted for ever to me. Jacobus Gunter, and Williamus 
Lewis, the Rectory of Llangonwood and the Chapelries of 
Havodeporth, Trisant, Llanngelleth, and Crickfeme (Glam.), 
with the right of patronage of the Vicarage of Llangon- 
wood, *with their spiritual and temporal appurtenances 
in the towns, fields. Parishes and Hamlets of Llangon* 
wood, Hafodeporth, Trisant, Llanfigelleth, Crickfeme, 
Crike Castell, Southseller, Indiferne, and Froddell (Glam.), 
to hold the same in as full and ample a manner as they 
were enjoyed by the late Monastery, And the said Jacobus 
Gunter and Williamus Lewis bein^ so seized of the latter 
premises on the loth August, 37tn Henry VIII., made a 
feoffment thereof for ever to me, Willielmus Morgan, whor 
on the 4th day of August xst & and of Phillip and Mary, 
sold them for ever to one Tuna Clarke, who dyine, they 
descended to the plaintiff Henricius Doddington as his son 
and heir* 



*' And the Jury further say that the lamb in auestton was 
the tythe of lamb arising from Hafodeporth atoresaid, and 
came to the defendant's hands by finding, and that as servant 
of the said Thomas Mansell he (the defendant) had appro- 
priated it to his master's use ; but whether he is or is not 
guilty, the Jury are ignorant, and prajr the advice of the 
Court. But they pronounce him not guilty of the residue of 
the trespass." 

These tithes are now held b^ the Earl of Dunraven. 

Thi Vicarage^ in the valuation of Pope Nicholas, is rated 
at £6 X3S. 4d. At the Dissolution it was valued in the 
King's Book as follows : — 

EocUa Pall* de Uangynwyd— 

»* — 




Valor vie' ad firma 

. • 

• • 






Epo et arch' 

, , 

• • 


• • 




Archi .. 

. . 

, , 

• • 


— . 


Epo .« 

Et rem 

• • 


• • 







X"» inde 

. • 

• • 

• . 

• • 

— xxxviij vj 

The advowson of the Church was in 1262 in the hands of 
the Lord of the Manor. Subsequently it passed into the 
patronage of the Abbey of Margam. Henry VIII. granted 
It in 1546 to Gunter and Lewis, the persons named in the 
preceding pages ; from whom, in the same report, it is traced 
to Henry Doddington, who must have held it in 16x3. How 
it i)assed from him or his representatives to the Mansell 
family does not appear, but probably by purchase ; for in 
Brown Willis's return 1719, Lord Mansell is put down as 

The net value of the living of Llangynwyd with Baiden ip 
1875 ^^^ returned as ;^3oo, with house annexed. There is 
also one and a half acre of Glebe. The tithes are stated to 
be ;^i7o OS. zd. There are besides impropriate tithes, 
amounting to £i\6 19s. alienated, and in the hands of 
One Lay Owner. The £1^0 to make up the ;f3oo a year 
is derived from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of England 
since z866, when J. D. Llewelyn, Esq., gave up the patronage 
to the Bishop. 

No list appears of the early Vicars, nor, indeed, is there a 
complete one of those who have held the benefice since the 
Reformation. The official Records are singularly incomplete 
in this respect, and the imperfect list whico now follows is a- 
collection from many sources :— 


yohn ah Morgan was Vicar of Langunwode in X56a 

Sir Hugh MtndUk, Vicar of Llangyooud in x6o8. 

John Howard was inducted x^th Juiy» 162a, on the 
presentation of <* Anna David, vidu.*' 

Michael Roberts. — Inducted 30th January, 1638, on the pre* 
sentation of the King, during the minority of Sir Henry 
Mansell, Bart. 

Davids or Griffith Davies, was ejected by the Puritans. He 
had no "fifths** allowed him. Walker thinks that he lived 
to the Restoration, and was repossessed of the Vicarage, but 
died a few years after. 

Samuel Jones.^^o record of his induction. 

JohnHuttoH, — No record, he succeeded to the benefice on 
Mr. Jones's ejection in 1662 ; and held it until his death in 1705. 

Tliomas Edmund wsis WicaLt in 1706; he begins the second 
book of Registration in that year, and styles himself '* Vicar 
•of Llangynwyd.*' 

Morgan Thomas.-^'So record. He appears to have held the 
living from 1707 to 1763. He is buried in the chancel under 
the altar table. 

William Thomas.'^'Ris signature appears in the books in 
1775. His name is on the I^Us cast in 1786. He was of the 
family of Eglwys Nynud. 

Zohn Parr^.— Inducted 6th July, 1790, on the presentation 
ord Vernon, 

William Thomas, — Inducted nth July, 1829, on the presen- 
tation of Lewis Thomas. 

Richard Pendfil Llewelyn. — Presented in 1841, by J. D. 
Llewelyn, Esq., PenUeWgaer* 

There are two ' places of worship which might be con- 
sidered as branches of the **01d Parish Church.** The 
Maesteg Church is a verjr fine modern edifice, and was built 
in the year 1 851, by public subscriptions. 

The other is at Spelter,* in a licensed room. A Curate 
for each is supported by the Llandaff Church Extension 
Society the. Pastoral Aid Society, Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners, and and by private subscriptions. 

English and Welsh Services are held in all the churches 
«very Sabbath, the Vicar officiating at the Parish Church. 

The Endowments of the Maesteg Church are ;^ioo, by 
the late Mrs. Oakley, of TanybwUh, Meirionethshire ; and £1 
from W. Gibson, Esq., of Ongar, Essex. These two sums, 
together with several years* interest thereon, were paid over, 

* A new church it now beiog erected oa Penlan Farm in the Higher 
Hamlet, at a coet of about j( 1000, to he completed by next Spring. 


in the year 1870, to the Governors of Queen Ann's Bountyr 
who invested them in the *< thru pit cents.,*' yielding about 
£^ X3S. per annum. 

The Curates in Charge at present are :— 
Maesteg^Rev. D. J. Llewelyn. 

Samuel Rees (Lay Reader). 
Spelter — Rev. Samuel Jones* 

An Old Tbrribr op thb Glbbb Land, 

Datbp ittb Junb, 1771. 

ExfracUd from the Registry of the Consistory Court of Llandaff:"* 

** A Terrier of the Glebe Land, Messuages, Tenements, 
Tithes, and other Rights belonging to the Vicarage of 
Llangonoyd, in the County of Glamorgan, and Diocese of 
Landaff ; and now in the use and possession of William 
Thomas, Clerk, Vicar, there taken, made, and renewed, 
according to the old evidences and knowledge of the ancient 
inhabitants this 17th day of June, in the year of our Lord 
Christ, One thousand seven hundred and seventy one, and 
exhibited in the primary Visitation of the Right Reverend 
Father in God, Shute, Lord of Landaff, at Cowbridge. 

" Imprimis t TJie Vicarage, House. — It is built and covered 
with stones, contains two rooms below, and two rooms 
above: not wainscotted, ceiled, or floored. Within a few 
yards of the Vicarage to the east, is a small house containing 
one room below, and one above, built and covered with 
stone. There are also three other houses* contiguous to* 
each other lying to the east side of the roaid leading by the 
Churchyard towards Bettws, each of the houses contains- 
one room below, and one above, neither of which is floored, 
wainscotted, or ceiled. 

*' Item. — One enclosed piece of Pasture, containing about 
an acre of land lying to the south of the Vicarage House, on 
the east side abutting to part of Gadlys Estate, on the west 
and south sides of the road leading from Langonoyd to 
Bridgend, and on the north abutting to the garden belonging 
to the Vicarage. 

* Tbeae houses were taken down when the new Churchyard was made,, 
and the greater portion of the gardens is enclosed within the said grounds. 


" TfifM.— Adjoining to the small building already mentioned 
near the Vicarage House is a garden containing a small 
piece of ground, and contiguous to the Glebe ; fenced with a 
turf bank and hedge, not walled. There are also five small 
gardens belonging to the respective dwellings above men* 
tioned, not walled. 

** //^ffi.— In the Churchyard are three Yew trees, and four- 
teen Ash trees, young and old, of very little value. 

*<//^iff.--The Tithes of wool and lambs are paid to the Vicar 
or his tenant in their proper kind. Also a Tithe goose on 
every three, Tithe pig after the first litter. Honey in kind. 
The Tithe of cows for six months payable the last Monday 
of May, the last Monday in every month during the con- 
tinuance of the six months. The whole milk of three da3rs 
from the cows every month is apprehended to be due, but it 
was always paid in cheese. 

*< Also a modus of half-penny is claimed for every calf in 
the Parish, half-penny for every she foal, and a penny for 
every he foal, and one penny in lieu of Tithe hay for every 
separate hay-loft. Upon what grounds these modus and 
customs are claimed we do not know. 

**//^m.— The Church and Churchyard walls are repairable 
by the Parishioners, and the Chancel by the Vicar. 

** We have no regular Sexton. The Clerk is appointed by 
the Vicar; paid partly by the Vicar, and partly by the 

** In testimony of the truth of the above mentioned parti- 
culars, we the Minister, Churchwardens, and chiet in- 
habitants have set our hands the day and year above 

The chief inhabitants^^ 
William Thomas, Vicar. Daniel John, Maesteg. 

David Williams. 
The' math X of 
Daniel Richards, \CAir«*. Thomas James. 

David John, \ wardens. „ J'W mark Y. of . 

William Mathews. 

The mark X of 
Evan Edwards, 
The mark X of 
Witnesses'^ Abraham Edwards. 

Thomas Grippiths, CUrh. ^ '^^ mark\ of 

Lewis Thomas. Griffith Rowlands. 

Edward Williams* 
David Lewis. 


<* A true and perfect cop3r of all and singular the goods, 
books, ornaments, and utensils belonging to the Parish 
Church of Langonoyd. 

** Impnmis^ four Mils in repair, and two decayed. 

**//«;ii.— One pewter Flagffon*and one pewter dish, the 
ormer marked I. L. and M. T. The latter A. M. 

"Jtan.^One silver chalice with cover dated 1576. 

** Itetpt. — One linen cloth for the Communion table. Com- 
m union table, and Font. 

•* Itettt.^Oae blue pulpit cloth, and cushion for the same, 
one large chest, two biers, two ladders. 

**IUm, — One surplice. 

**Item. — ^Two Common Prayer books, one Welsh, and 
the other English. 

'< /^w.— One large Welsh Bible. 

** William Thomas, Vicaf. 

"Danibl Richards,)^. . • 
«• David John, ]Ci^rchwafdini. 

**yun$ 1st, 1771. 

« At the primary visitation of Shute, Lord Bishop of 
LandafF, held in the Parish Church of Cowbridge. 

"This Terrier was then exhibited with the Registry of 
the Consistory Court of LandafT by Daniel Richards and 
David John, Churchwardens, &c., two of the persons sub- 
scribing the same, and at their request lodged there in order 
to preserve a perpetual memorial of the Rights, &c., be- 
longing to the Vicarage of Langonoyd above mentioned. 

'< James Davies, Regisirar, 
** Examined'^ 

« Edward Stephens, Diputy RigisirMf.** 

* Cannot now be traced. 


Ftall descriptioa of the Church.— Bakten Chap6l.->The B«Us.->The 
Chnfch Plat«.->ExtficU from the Ptfiih lUgittem— The Rev. J. 
Fury'i Ledgerti— Monnuieotel iotcriptioiii.— The mint of the Old 
CaMle.— The Robmo Camp.— 7«mi/«/A iiwUth.'^rbib Lettered 
Stone oo Mergam Moootaia.— Ami the Chancel StoMi 

JHE plan of Llan^ynwyd Church consists of a western 
tower, a nave, with south porch, and a chancel. The 
tower is square and embattled, rising in diminishing 
stages to the height of 60 feet, and is devoid of omamenta* 
tion or buttress. West of the tower, and attached thereto, 
is a low building erected in the last century, and used as a 
school house. It is now handed over to the Sexton for the 
storage of tools and biers. 

An examination of the architectural details shows that 
the original building was a simple structure of the thirteenth 
century, which in the fifteenth century underwent complete 
renovation, and received the impress of the style of archi- 
tecture — the perpendicular— then prevailing. To this period 
belong the east window, the tower, the font, and singular to 
say, the moveable massive benches which still form the 
seating of the nave. Sometime in the seventeenth century, 
another but less complete renovation took place, which also 
left its • mark on the building in the three debased Gothic 
windows east of the porch in the south side of the nave. A 
new roof was probably put on at the same time, for upon an 
oaken wall plate in a line with the gallery, the date *' 1688'' 
may be seen deeply cut in the wood. Whether the rpof was 
entirely removed at that date is open to doubt, for some of 
the couples visible in the open roof are apparently older 

The chancel arch is the chief and indeed the only ivotice- 
able architectural feature remaining of the thirteenth century 
church. The workmanship is rough and rude, the stones 
are undressed, but the design is remarkably, free and vigorous. 
There is an attempt at ornamentation, inasmuch as the 
head is roughly recessed, and about one foot below the 


spring of the arch an impost, chamfered on its lower edge, 
forms a kind of capital to the plain side of the pier. A 
hagioscope or squint on each side of this arch enabled the 
worshippers in the side of the nave to witness the ceremonial 
at the altar. 

The chancel has a modern ceiling. The east window is a 
pointed one of three lights, the head being filled with per* 
pendicular tracery. The south wall is pierced with two 
two-lighted trefoil-headed windows of undetermined date, 
but apparently earlier than the east window. West of these 
is a priest's door, spanned by an obtuse pointed arch. 

The oak benches in the nave (already spoken of) owe 
their preservation through the four or five centuries they have 
stood in Llan^ynwyd Church, chiefly to their massive 
chaiacler, and m part to the gentle usage they must have 
received. Nevertheless they look their age. There are 
twenty-five of them, but withm living memory there were as 
many as thirty. The greatest care should be taken to 
insure their preservation. The ends are formed of square- 
topped slabs of oak, over three inches thick ; the backs 
and seats are a trifle thinner. Each will seat five persons. 
The ornamentation at the ends is but slight ; but what 
there is, is in spirit, perpendicular. 

Pulpit, reading desk, and clerk's pew, are an example of 
that curious piece of church furniture called somewhat pro- 
fanely a ** three-decker **— sounding-board, and all complete. 
This was put up by a local tradesman in the year 1826, 
copied from a design which was prevalent in the reign of the 
Georges. As a piece of joinery it is excellent, and re- 
flects infinite credit upon the man who made it. What is 
more, it does not appear to be much out of place where it 
now stands. This, too, is worthy of preservation. It is a 
link in the chain of historical continuity* The font is 
formed of a massive octagonal block of free-stone, a rudi- 
mentary stem being shaped by the removal chamferwise of 
the material between bowl and foot. It is destitute of 
ornament ; but the principles of the design are those of the 
perpendicular period. 

Thrown acrosf« this part of the nave, and some distance 
advanced from the west end of the Church, is a spacious 
gallery lighted by a two-light Dormer window, on the south 
side, over which was placed a vertical stone dial by one of 
the Powells, of Tondu, on which is inscribed (in Latin)'-' 
«« Given by E. P., of Tondu, in the year 1686." 

An arch, late pointed in style, of fine proportions and 
excellent workmanship, rising aln.ost to the rpof, opens out 



from nave to tower, and is led to by a flight of four steps. 
This beautiful arch is now filled to half its height with a 
lath and plaster partition, apparently for no other purpose 
than to screen from view the lumber stored in the base of 
the tower. The tower has a western door» the outer orna* 
mentation of which is a good example of perpendicular. 
Towards the south is a debased two-light window lighting 
the lower part of the tower. Access to the ringing chamber 
is obtained from the nave by means of a newel staircase, 
formed in a square projection carried up to the beight of the 
chamber, on the south-east corner of the tower. The stair- 
case door is under an obtuse pointed arch. 

Thus it will be seen that though the most ancient features 
in this Church date from the thirteenth century, the impress 
which it bears most strongly is that of the fifteenth, and the 
mark has also been left of the declension of style which 
supervened in the seventeenth century. Whenever the time 
may come that Llangynwyd Church shall once again, as 
in several past periods of its history, undergo renovation, 
let us hope that ** restoration ** will be most religiously 
avoided, and that the interesting features and accessories 
now found as part of the structure within its walls will all be 
preserved ana handed down intact to a distant posterity. 

Baidbn Chapel. 

This Chapel was situated on Mynydd Baiden^ on a field 
called Coi dan y Capd -pdiri of the farm named in olden 
times, *• Tir y Capel," — the property of Lord Wimborne, and 
now held by Mr. D. Thomas, of Ty-talwvn. The old Chapel 
was in a ruinous state long before the close of the last cen- 
tury, and there remains at present nothing but a portion of 
the old walls to denote the spot where once the Chapel 
stood. The Chapelry of Baiden is mentioned in several 
ancient documents as being connected with the Vicarage of 
Llangynwyd, and it is said that the late Rev. Bruce Knight 
endeavoured to obtain proofs of its being really part of this 
living, but his efforts were unsuccessful. Upon his authority, 
however, we are able to state that it was erected about the 
end of the 17th century, but how long services were held in 
it is now hard to sav. It seems most probable that it was 
built by, and for the accommodation of, the families of 
Cwm^yr^isga and Cefn-Ydfa, and it may be, also, that of the 
Powells', of Tondu ; and when these families became extinct, 
the Chapel was left untenanted. If it ever were connected 
with the Llangynwyd Vicarage by legal rights, it has long 


rsince been severed fron it ; and remains at present a real 
specimen of a Church disestablished and disendowed. 

The Bells. 

The bells are six in number, and for quality of tone they 
are considered excellent. The largest oi them is called the 
•«* tenor bell/* and the smallest is styled «* treble/* Thev are 
.always kept in good working order, and are generally played 
during the Christmas season. 

They are also called by number ; the smallest 19 called 
the First, and so up to the largest which is the Sixth. The 
.following inscriptions are to be seen on each respective 

On the firsts** John Llewelyn and Thomas John, Church- 

wardens ; William Bilbie, Bell Founder, 

Chcwstoke, 1786.** 

„ „ second — <*The Rev. William Thomas, Vicar; 

William Bilbie, Bell Founder, of 

Chewstoke, Somersetshire. FeciU 


„ „ third—** Abr. Rodhall, of Gloucester, cast us all. 

„ „ fourth— <* Grifftth Jenkins, Churchwarden. 1730.*' 
„ „ fifth-** Rev. Morgan Thomas, Vicar. 2730.** 
„ „ sixth — ** / to the Church the living call^ 

And to the grave do summon all. 2730.** 

The first and second bells cracked ; and they were recast, 
which accounts for the different dates on them, and the 
.dififerent makers. 

Church Plate. 

The Church plate consists only of a Silver Cup, with 
•cover, and two alms dishes of old pewter. 

This Communion Cup* is the onlv article which deserves 
: special attention. The cover bears tne date of 1576. 

In the reign of Edward the VI., it was decreed that the 
Lord*s Supper should be administered to the people, and 

* The following communication with reference to the Communion Plate 
was sent to the Vicar, by T. M. Fallows. Esq., Chapel Allerton. Leeds:— 

"The marks on the old 'Communion bup* and patten co\'er are 
London marks The lion passant and Leopard's head are London. The 
mark |+t is the maker's mark, and the letter (t) is the date letter. To 
indicate the year of assay- X576-7, which agrees m every respect with the 
inscribed date on the patten cover. It is an interesting old Cup. and is 
Avithout doubt the original 'Communion Cup' of the ancient Chalice. 
-The word Chalice, it may be noted, was expunged from the Prayer Book 


that the Cup in particular should no loneer be withheld from* 
them. This interesting relic must have been one of the very 
first that the Laity at Communion Services were allowed to* 
drink from, and it remains a venerable witness of a victory 
won over priestly intolerance and assumption, and should be- 
to us a reminder of the many conflicts fought, and the blood 
spilt before that victory was gained. 

Extracts from thb Parish Registers. 

** Evan, son of David ab Evan and Jonetta Richard, was- 
baptized 37th July, 1663. 

*'Giiffith Frees and Cecilia Nicoll of Llangonwyd, were 
joined in Marriage on the i6th day of October, 1662. 

•« David Thomas ab Thomas was buried 6th of October,. 
// /? ^ fi'%* ** Henry John (who lived at Br}'n-y-Rhyg), coal falling upon* 
/ ;/' /.V/ll ^*™ •^ Llwy ni. on the 22nd day of January, 1682, was killed 
! f^y^fi II about the (htrd hour of the afternoon— but was found and 
I ' ^ extracted thence on the 3rd day of February ; and on that 

day about the 8th hour in the evening was buried 1682. 
I '* The aforesaid H.J. was extracted on the 4th hour of the 

afternoon of Feb. 3rd, '82. 

*• Henry, son of Henry John and Catherine Peter, was- 
baptized on the 2nd day of March, 1682, posthumous. This- 
is the son of Henry John, who was killed by coal falling on> 
him at Llwyni as is shown in the page. 

" Charles Aylward, son of Lewis Aylward, and Jonetta^ 
Loughor of Kenfig, was baptized on the 6th day of June, 1683,- 
in the jrear of his age. 

** Benjamin Aylward, the son of Lewis and Jonetta, afore- 
said, was baptized the loth day of November, 1683, in the 
year oi his age. 
*' Anna Jenkins, relic of Edward Jenkiiis of Gadlas, was- 
buried on the 15th day of the month of November, 1692, in 
the year of her age. * 

** Be it remembered that Richard Edmond was denounced, 
excommunicated, on the loth day of June, 1694. 

'*Be it remembered that Lewis Thomas Edwards o 

from 1352- 1662, and the Diihop'i visitalioD questions constantly refer Xo- 
whether *tbe Chalice has been destroyed, and the * Communion Cup * pro- 
vided ? " I hardly think any symbolism ik intended by the thrice interlacing 
leaf patterut not very infrequently it does not interlace at all. and some times- 
it does so lour times ; and 1 suspect that any symbolism in those days would 
be discarded as superstitions or something of the sort. Pewter marks are 
not understood much at present." 

^ The above arc the very first Entries 00 the old Registers of this Parish,, 
and are mritltB ia Latin. 


JLlangonwyd, was denounced, excommunicated, on the 20th 
of January, in the Parish of Margam, per Gwil. Lewis, 
clerk.— And was denounced and excommunicated in the 
Parish of Llangonwyd, on the last day of March, 1695, ^y.llpe, 
John Hutton, clerk. 

* Dionvsia Liddon, relic of Evan Thomas, pauper, was 
buried 3rd February, 1696. 

** Dorothea Worthington, a pauper, widow, was buried on 
^he second day of June, 1702. , . 

•« David Jenkins (nihil habeus) was buried on the Z4th day ^^/ 
■of April^ Z703, in the year oi his age 88. 

'* Bachel Powell (alias Middleton), relic of Thomas Powell, 
of Llwydarth, was buried on the 8th day of April, 1704, in 
the year of her age 67. 

** Lena Wynne, a pauper, was buried 30th of January. 

** Watkin Jenkins, Gentleman, was buried the 22nd day 
of December, 1708. 

'- The old man of Pontrhydycyff. collier, was buried April 
19th. 1797 

'* Mrs. Edmunds, mother of the late Colonel Edmunds, of 
Cowbridge and daughter of the late Rev. Morgan Thomas, 
of Maescadlawr, and late Vicar of this Parish, was buried 
here on Sunday, the i8th day of February, 1798. She lived 
with Dr. Saunders, at Bridgend. 

** Evan Evans, son of Morgan Evans, of Penlan, was 
buried February i8th, 1798. The said Evan Evans was 
married at Lalestown to Ann Lewis, February loth, 1798, 
was taken ill February 13th, and died February i6th, 1798. 

'* John Williams, commonly called John of the Forest, 
bachelor, was buried on Monday, the 9th day of September, 
1799. The stoutest man in the neighbourhood. 

** Morgan James, widower, of this parish, was buhed on 
Tuesday, the 30th day of January, 1800, aged 84 or there- 
about. He lived at Llwydarth with Rees Hopkio, who was 
married to one of his daughters, and there died a regular 
Churchman, and Communicant as long as he was able. 

*' Mrs. Smith, widow of the late Mr. Smith, surgeon, of 
Bridgend, was buried on Monday, the 27th day of December, 

'* George, son of Thomas Bevan^ of Brynllywarch Fach, 
in the Middle Hamlet, labourer, — by Lucy, his wife— was 
buried on Thursday, the 19th day of February, 1801, of a 
consumption, aged twenty-one years. His father was a 
labourer, as above, but himself was by trade a taik>r. 

'* Elizabeth Nicholas, a poor English woman in the 


Middle Hamlet, was buried on Sunday, the 26th day of 
December, 1802. 

'* Ann, dauf(hter of Mr. L— y, gent., of St. Pagans, by 
Catherine Thomas, of this parish, was christened on Friday,- 
the 7th day of February, 1800; born the Tuesday before in 
that part of Gadlys House wherein Lewis David and his- 
wife live. 

" Phillip Williams, Esq., of the Parish of Cadoxton, Juxta 
Keath, and Catherine Maddocks, spinster, of this parishr 
were married at this Church on the 23rd day of Novembefr 
175B, by Morgan Thomas, vicar. 

" Tn fko «>r*««n^. rvf J Thomss Richsrds. 
In the presence of| ^^^^^^ Williams. 

" George Howells, of the parish of Wenvoe, bachelor, 
and Mary Moses, of this parish, spinster, were married the* 
a5th day of May, 1765. 

•* The Rev Mathew Deere, clerk, of the parish of Ystrad* 
Owen, and Margaret Maddocks, of this parish, spinster, were 
married this 27th day of June, 1766, by Mr. William 

** Rees Hopkin, of this parish, and Margaret James^ 
spinster, were married by license this 29th day of May, I773.- 


"Hobert Jenkins, of the parish of St. Bride Major, 
widower, and Catherine James, spinster, of this parish, were 
married by license, this 8th day of December, 1781, by me^ 
Wm. Rees, curate of St. Brides Minor. 

" Hopkin Hopkin, of the Parish of Lisworney, and 
Margaret David, of this parish^ were married by license this- 
6th day of Tul^, 1784. 

" Joseph (jwynn, of the parish of Llandewi, bachelor, and 
Elizabeth Williams, of this parish, spinster, were married by 
license this 20th day of April, 1794, by me, Edward 

" I» '^^ ^^^^'- ^i fcS'wiiliams. 

** Sir James Laroche, of this Parish, Baronet, and Eliza^ 
beth Thurslcy, of this Pari^li (widow), were married by 
license, this 13th day of July, iy95, by roe, John Parry, Vicar.. 

•• T« «K« «^r»««n<.« ftf I J**^" Morgan, of Neathr 
In the presence of | ^ijij^^ J,^^^. 


" William Thomas, Bettridge, of the Parish of Tidixton» 
bachelor, and Gwenllian Maddocks, bf this parish, spinster, 
were marricx) by license, this 8th day of November, i8ox. 

** Lewis Thomas, of the Parish of Baglan, to Miss Eliza- 
beth Jenkins, spinster, of this Parish, were married by licence, 
this ;tnd day of February, 1787. 

..In the presence of jSliSfPZ-jJi^.'- 

The Rev. John Parry*s Diary, with Extracts there- 
from, 1790 TO 1812. 

There is always something pathetic and sad in the perusal 
of the written thoughts of one who has long since passed 
away. The feeling that, while the hand that wrote is dust— 
and the active mind that controlled the willing hand is, to 
us, long stilled and inactive, — the written characters bear as 
strongly as ever they did the peculiar characteristics of the 
dead hand— the living impress of the vanished mind— brings 
with it a strange solemnity. In spite of ourselves, we handle 
the time-stained pages reverentially, and read with respect 
the words that clothe the writer's thoughts. And, let us not 
forget either, that herein we have a proof, if one were needed, 
that though men pass away^ though the scenes that know 
them must, some day, know them no more,— though even their 
names must pass away as surely as though they were " writ 
in water "—their thoughts live, and, in one form or another, 
must be immortal. 

But there is an interest of another kind that clings round 
such relics of dead men as we have now before us. Here is the 
quaintness of expression ot nearly a hundred years ago. We 
see, as in a mirror, the country vicar of that date, living his ob- 
scure, but useful life — with a keen eye to the main chance, 
doubtless; but, we are compelled to think, as regular, as sys- 
tematic, as sternly conscientious in the.discharge of his sacred 
functions as he was in the business observances of his daily 
life. We have a minute picture of the religious customs of 
the parish in Mr. Parry's day, and more than a glimpse of 
the change that has taken place in the cost of living during 
the period that has since elapsed ; while now and then comes 
a touch of nature that perhaps does more than all the rest, 
to paint for us life at the quiet parsonage of Llan^ynwyd ; 
and to shew us that men (and boys) were then in their nature 
much as they are to-day. Such a touch is the entry in one 
of the books, written evidently by the good clergyman's 
nephew, ** David Parry, Soldier in the King's regulars I hope 
I will be/*— '*God save the King.'*— For during these 


eventful years, the sound of the war trumpet rang through 
£urope and England ; and re-echoed from America» reaching 
even the quiet village of Llangynwyd. Like most boys of 
his age at that time, young David Parry could imagine no 
higher destiny than to fight for his King- against "the 
usurper*' Bonaparte^the evil genius, as he was considered 
to be, of England, and the English. 

Not that this feeling of combativeness and military ardour 
were,even here, confined to the youth. Underdate March i6th» 
1798, we find the following entry, in the handwriting of the 
Rev. J. Parry himself: " Paid a Guinea contribution at a 
vestry, towards defending our King and country**; and 
indeed, there is this further evidence of the reality and 
exuberance of the rev. gentleman*s loyalty, under date the 
13th of the same month*: '* Paid for Toddy, ye day ye 
volunteers rec^ ye colours. 2/-.*' By to-day, the Rev. J. 
Parry is dust and ashes,— his nephew David, whether his 
darling wish was gratified or not, probably sleeps too soundly 
to hear the war trumpet, however loudlv it may be blown ; 
pity that even now, the air is as full of wars, and rumours 
of wars, as it was during the lifetime of the much hated 
Napoleon, in the year of our Lord, 1798. 

But apart from these occasions of special excitement, the 
life of our diarist, as pictured by his own hand in the pages 
befoce us, was evidently quiet and regular enough. He was 
evidently ready enough to be confidant and account-keeper, 
perhaps also money-lender, to all the parish ; but his occu- 
pations left him so much leisure that his Diary seems to have 
been resorted to more by way of passing the time than for 
any other purpose— the entries are so lenf^thy and diffuse, 
and here and there is a task that has evidently only been 
entered upon as a kind of mental relaxation* Such is this, 
an elaborate calculation of what one acre of land should 
produce by way of tithe :— 

*" t acft of Uad will keep 10 ihMps What will 10 thetp produce of 
tttlies ia 4 jr«an ? 10x4^40. 40 sheep will prodnca ao Umbt— 

/ I. d. 
s tithes at 4t. per head ... ... ... o 8 o 

And 40 Ihe. of wool— 4 Ibt. tithe . . ...040 

That the good man*8 tithes were not levied upon this 
entirely fancy plan we have abundant evidence. Here is a 
qiecimen of how the matter was arranged : — 


*' An account of David Griffiths, tithe from himaelf to ne^ John Parry— 
-the laat day of December, 1801, for the said year— 

/ a. d. 

7 calved cows ... ... ... ... o is 3 

5 calves (the two others were dead) ...050 
Z4 lbs. 01 wool ... ... ••• o 14 o 

9 lambs at 4s. per lamb ... ... i 16 o 

z goose ... .. ... ... o z o 

z nay loft ... ... ... ... o o z 

z family offering ... ... ...006 

8 lbs. of Mich, wool at 8d. per lb. ...054 

The said David Griffiths promised to pay before next 
. Llantrissant fair, December 4th, i8ot— a promise, which, by 
the way, ** the said David Griffiths " failed to fulfil to the 
letter, as we find further on. David Griffiths paid the above 
the I cth day of January, 1802. 

It would be thought that between his spiritual duties and 
this laborious system of obtaining payments for them, of 
which we have given a specimen, Mr. Parry found his time 
iairly occupied. But we are inclined to think that he managed 
to find time for a little sport, or what is the meaning of this 
entry ?—** January, 1798, paid to huntsmen, as.** And more- 
'Over he had evidently the control and management of the 
village school, then attached to the Church. We are glad, 
moreover, to see that he had room in his mind and his h^Jirt 
for melting charity — and note with pleasure such entries as 
this — " January 8th, 1798. Paid Mr. Saunders for a visit to 
.a poor man, and drugs, 12s. 6d.*' The eccentric goodness of 
the kind-hearted clergyman is also strikingly shewn by the 
following entry, which we transcribe in full. *< Be it re- 
membered that David Williams paid 3s. 6d. of tithes on 
Monday, the loth day of March, 1800, due Michaelmas last 
— but not for the turnips nor the heifer he sold before she 
came to the pail, but I think he should, and that is again to 
be settled. We both likewise agreed that tho* his daughter 
enter'd school on July 4th, 1799, that her half*year will not 
be up until ist of May, i8oo. She has been in school mos^ of 
the interim, but as being a poor man I consider not to 
charge him the whole, but a part of ye time, and then he is 
to have the 2 quarters for 5s.'* 

And even in tho midst of these multifarious calls upon his 
iime, leisure was found to make sermons. Whether they 
were good or bad, history saith not, but they were evidently 
appreciated by Mr. Parry's brethren, both Churchmen and 
Dissenters. Under the heading of B^ks Unt are these entries : 

•• Mr. Jones the Preacher : — 

Vol. zat of Beveredge.Tbesaiims, 
VoL z of Oiaooorsea. 


Mr. , of Tytanglwst :— 

I Vol. of Biibop LaDdafTt Tracts. 

Mr. Powell, of Glyncorrwg :— 

t Vol. of WilioB't SermoBi. 

Mr. Hancorn : — 

I Vol. of Sermooi. 

Mr. Pritchard, of Corlanna :— 

6 Diseonries, December 3rd. 1804. 

Iaouary 26tli, 1805. 5 more Discoursef of Maniiacript. 
lay 13th. 12 with 2 behind will make 14. 
September 14th. 1804. returned 7. touk 5. 
December 29th, 1797. tent 2d Manuscripts to Evan Madoc. 

So that it would appear that Mr. Pritchard, of Corlanna». 
distributed to his flock spiritual food that had been com- 
pounded at Llangynwyd Vicarage. Clergyman, farmer,, 
magistrate, and the rest ; will it t^ believed that this most 
industrious man was also a coal owner? buch, indeed, he 
was^the forerunner of those, who, in these later days, have 
taken from this neighbourhood untold wealth in '* black 
diamonds,*' and have made the valley that was once peaceful, 

fastoral, and well wooded, to be smoky, grimy, and noisy. 
[ere is the not very cheerful statement of Mr. Parry*s doings- 
in this direction : — 

£ » d. 
The collier's wages for a week ... ... ... o 12 o 

The carter ... ... ... ... ... 050 

The nan at the winch... ••• ,•• ... 090 

Timber for the pit ... ... ... ... 070 

The weekly Otttgoinss ... £1 13 o 
^ The weakly receipts from the coal ... ... o 16 o 

The ontgoinss eiceed the receipts by ... ... £0 17 o 

That this was the untoward result of mining operation in 
that day majf be accounted for by other entries, which shew; 
that coal mining could not, at the then ruling prices, be- 
made profitable :— 

£ •. d. 
Janvary tith. 1797. coal, s loads ... ... ... 005 

Ikpriieih, 1798, pakl Thomas Bowen for 9 loads of ooal.«. o 4 io| 

In startling contrast to which are iM>me of the following : — 



£ ■. d. 

i lb. yellow soap ••• ... ...005 

Quarter of mutton ••• ... ••• o 3 9 

Almanack ... ... ...009 

Lump sugar ... ... ...014 per Ib.^ 

Broun da ... ... ... o o 10 „ 

Tea ..• ... ••• ..« o 9 9 „ 

lb. of starch .. ..• ...006 

;orse stable and dinner ... ...008 

i of coffee ... ... ...012 



It would appear, further, that whatever Mr. Parry was- 
ftble to bestow in the way of pecuniary charity upon his 
poorer neighbours, was not the supetfluity of his own plenty; 
but that it was the outcome of a really charitable heart,, 
giving from his own by no means large resources. If we^ 
have wondered, in reading over the '* Diary,** at the keen 
eve which the good parson evidently had for the main 
chance, and the minute attention which he gave to the 
matter of tithes due to him ; there are passages here and 
there which shew these apparent characteristics of his to 
have had their origin really in the stern necessities of his posi- 
tion. His income, meagre as it was, had to be hardly earned. 
Evidently unable, from insufficient means, to keep a curate,. 
he had himself to officiate in the Churches of Bettws and 
Llangeinor Parishes, of which he held charge, in addition to 
that of Llangynwyd ; and every Sunday he preached in each 
of the three places. Truly, these were the days when 
parsons had to be men of sinew and muscle, as well as tender 
pastors and careful shepherds! Small wonder that Mr. 
Parry's handwriting and orthography shew here and there 
faults that we should, in these days of Higher Grade 
Schools, and free Universities, be shocked at. Just and 
careful in his dealings with his fellow men, the Vicar of 
Llangynwyd kept the accounts of his own private income so 
strictly as to make them appear like a profit and loss account 
with himself,*— taking note of every item, for and against 
himself, with the most rigid accuracy. 

This is the statement of his Income and Disbursements* 
for the year 1798 :* 

/ s. d. 
From Baiden ... ... ... 15 19 4^ 

„ Middle Hamlet ••• ... 34 17 6 

„ Cwmdtt „ ... ... 30 I 3 

M Higher „ ••• ... ... 35 la 5I 

£to6 10 7 
Disbursements extracted ... aa 3 9 

There remain clear value •••- ••• 84 6 10 




. 84 



. 10 

>. 10 



. 9 

• la 




Brought forward 

! Salary from Margam 
Rent of Cwm mawr 
„ ^ Newton 
M Bettwi, salary 

Not a very extravagant income, considering the work 
•done for it 1 In these days, in which the pulpit even in 
'Wales, appears to be taking its due standing, I doubt 
-whether any of the itinerant preachers, coninionly called 
yacks, much less a beneficed clergyman, would undertake to 
preach 52 sermons for the paltry remuneration of /la, or an 
average of some 4s. 7^d. per sermon I I think that "7ohn 
Nicholas, my common workman " (who appears in one of the 
following memoranda), with his is. 6d. an acre for hay- 
.mowing, and is. a day for "different work, at different timet,'' 
•made rather a better bargain of it than did his reverend 
employer. So it is, that thews and sinews are to this day 
esteemed more highly than brains ! 

And, indeed, Mr. Parry's income, small as it was, did not 
always reach the amount shewn for the year we have noted. 
In the year 1801 we find that disbursements being deducted, 
«the income accruing from Llangyn wyd Parish fell to £"82 1 7s 3d. 
with however the following remark : — •• The rent of my own 
•dwelling-house and field, and my own tithes, I leave out, and 
I am sure goes in repairs yearly, and my clerk*s salary/' In 
fairness to Mr. Parry, it should be stated that the clerk's 
salary was thirty shillings annually. But why the note as to 
•rthe dwelling-house, the field, and the parson's tithes ? Can 
it be that at that day, as now, there were folk who grumbled 
at tithes, and at parsons, and at their pastors and masters 
generally ? Were there in those days those who grumbled 
tthat the parson was paid too highly ; and that the farmer was 
down-trodden and oppressed ? Were there Radicals in those 
-days ? If not, wherefore the half- explanatory, half*apologetic 
note of the parson ? 

Let us now give a few more extracts from the Diary, 
^o exemplify still further Mr. Parry's careful and methodical 
habits ; and to throw some light on the price of labour, and 
«of commodities in daily use at the beginning of the century : — 

John Nicola aooonnted with J. Parry ai followa, December 3rd, 1797. 
I owe him nothing, nor he me. 

December 14th, 1797.'— I owe Morgan 13 ahilUnga, after he works with . 
iflM two days more. 

December aoCh.— Paid the aforesaid Morgan, 13 shillings. J. PAaav. 




Mary Tenkini** tcoount mad« the i8th of TnW. 1805 1— £ ^ ^ 

I ow'd her nothiag, but paid her eveiy Althing to May ' 

hat had from that time to thia day. the 18th of July ••• o 9 o 

She had at Mabsaint ... ... ••• •••016 

A ihilliog to have a pair of Stockings ... ••• ••• o i o- 

She had three shillings to bny a handkerchief ••• ••• o 3 o 

Two shillings after ... ••• ... o 2 o- 

Shoes to Jenkin Nicholas ••• ... ••• •••076 

I owed her for half a-year service .«• ••• ... i xa 6- 

Balance ... ... ... /o 7 6 * 

She had the 7/6 the jtst day of December. i8oj. «,^.... 

Paid October 26th. 1803. to Rich. John, for threshing my 

barley; nnmber of Stacks^* it\, @ z/* per Stack ... ... £0 iS 6- 

The following was the rate of wages paid to a farm 
labourer in 1799 :-^ 

Richard John's account made November 9th, 1799, with J. Parry. 

£ s. d. 
a days scattering lime 
6 days with Cae Will Hopkin 
- X day with Richard Bowen 
4 days mattocking wheat 
z day drawing potatoes 

35 perches of ditch in Cae Gwenith @ s^d. per perch ... 073. 

14 days @ Sd.'per day ... o 9 4 

£0 16 

/« 3 


£0 »3 

£0 ZO 


£0 3 


Richard John owed me for cheese 

House rent 
Paid November 30th, 1799 

Made an account with John Nicholas, my common workman, on Satur* 

day. the sixth day of September, 1800, as follows :•« / s. d. 

To him for beating, and burning Z56 perches of beating in 

Bfynau ... ... ... ... ... ... z Z9 

For mowing it\ acres @ zs. 6d. per acre ... ... z 4 9 

For 8 days, working at different work and at different times, 

this day included ... ••• ... ... ... o 8 » 

£l " 9 

Be it remembered that I sent a cheese'down to Sir James Laroche. the 

37th day of November. Z797. £ s. d. 

December 24th, for a mug of ale at Bettws ••• ... o o x 

To singers at Llaogeioor ... ... ... o z o 

November 25th, 1796, from a marriage at Llan ... ... o 3 6* 

Jenkin Harrv^the schoolmaster's— salary in Z805 :— 

Be it remembered that he, Jenkin Harry, received of me the sum o> 

• 3f cuOrg Iks Weldi % efd FifSMr, a bbmask of captiUr, sqial to M bMhsli. 


£f 108. od (or OM quarter's salary, the and day of September. i8o5.^dae 
the aoth of August. 1805. As witnesseth my haiid, J. Pammy 

From these extracts, the reader will readily gather all 
needful knowledge of Llang^ynwyd, and its inhabitants, at 
the period the Diary was written. Living simply, labouring 
hard for small wage, there does not seem to have been much 
to choose between parson and people, between the pastor 
and the humblest of his flock. And there appears too much 
to shew, that the lot of our forefathers was not, after all, so 
much harder than that of their descendants. True, a daily 
wage of 8d. to i/- a day would appear to the field-labourer 
of to-day to be beneath contempt ; but when we look at the 
prices of the necessaries, and, indeed, of some of the luxuries 
of life at this time, fhe wages do not appear so inadequate. • 
In those happy days, sto<tkings (not the flimsy machine made 
.abominations of to-day, but strong, warm hand-knit woollen 
leg comforters) were to be had for a shilling a pair I Shoes 
were procurable, it is evident, at seven shillings and sixpence; 
and these again were of leather, and not, as now, of brown 
paper, and made by honest Jenkin Nicholas, a neighbour, 
sitting on his well-used shoemaker's bench, and not turned out 
by the gross from the factory of the shoddy-man. Nay, in 
the good days of 1796, one might be married for the ridicu- 
lously small sum of three shillings and sixpence, and, should 
the newly-married repent of his rash action, and betake 
himself to the flowing bowl for comfort,— were not temporary 
oblivion of trouble and jollity and happiness easily attain- 
able, with ale at one penn)^ per mug ? Happy days 1— happy 
-to the peaceful dwellers in Llangynwyd, living their quiet 
lives under the kindly care of the good parson,— and content 
•80 long as the days labour procured the day*s subsistence, 
and the Mabsaint afforded a periodical return of merry 
intercourse and innocent pleasure I 

. And, remembering how, during the years chronicled by the 
Diary, the world outside our borders was agitated with wars, 
torn with anarchy, and deluged with blood:— how Bank- 
ruptcy stalked through England, — how Rebellion raised fire 
and sword in Ireland, and the guillotine drank the best blood of 
France ; and later, how the. French Eagles hovered over the 
bloody fields that marked the advance of Buonaparte,— we 
say again, happy days 1 We claim, in the&e later days, to 
have more knowledge, greater refinement, - nay, possibly a 
truer and higher religious sense. We may well ask ourselves, 
however, whether our lives are more peaceful, happier, or more 
productive of good to our neighbours and of service to Heaven, 
than were those of our predecessors in this parish, though 


^heir advantages were fewer, and their claims to the regard 
of the world urged with less persistency. 


The Powell family of Llwydarth and Tondu :— 

** Here lyeth the body of Anthony Powell, Esq., deceased* . 
the seventeenth day of January, i6z8. 

•* Here lyeth the body of Thomas Powell, Gent., deceased 
the 13th day of December, 1630. 

•* Likewise here lyeth the body of Anthony Powell, who 
•died the 6th of July, Anno Domini^ 1631. 

** Here also lyeth the body of Edward Powell, Esq.* 
•deceased February, Anm Domini , 1634. 

" Here also lyeth the body of Thomas Powell, Gent, who 
^ied the i6th day of January. Antio Domini^ 1683. 

** Here lyeth the body of Edward Powell, son to Thomas 
Powell, of Tondu, deceased December the 8th, Anno Domini^ 

•* Here lyeth the body of Thomas Powell, of Tondu, who 
^ied the xoth day of October, Anno Domini^ 1728, aged 53. 

** Here lyeth interred the body of Thomas Powell, Esq.* 
oi Tondu, died January the 4th, 1736. 

••Here lyetn the body of Edward Powell, Esq , late of 
Tondu, in this Parish, who died the 20th day of December, 
1771. aged 57 years. 

The following Epitaph is inscribed on one of the stones* 
jind refers to the above Ed. Powell, buried in z686 :— 

"Twice twelve years told a weaned breath, 
Have exchanged for an happy death ; 
My course was shcit, the longer is my rest 
God taketh them soonest, whom h« loveth best.** 

It is recorded that in these graves lie the remains of 
leuan Fawr ap y Diwlith. These tombs (three in number), 
are on the western side of the Church Porch, and the •* Coat 
of Arms " of the family is still visible on each tomb* 

The Cwmyrisga and Cbpn Ydpa Families. 

•• Viita cladiiwyd Lewis Maddock, 17 Hydref^ 1618, 
^* Ag Anthony Maddock^ 17 Io$tawr, 1684. 

•• Here lyeth Jennet Maddock, widow, 25th March, Z7X3. 
••And Catheiine Maddock, spinster, 26th May, 1727, 
•* And Elizabeih Maddock and her sister, who were twinst 
19th April, 1738. 


**Here lyeth the daughter of Anthony Maddock andt 
Elizabeth his wife, who died the 23rd January, 1741. 

** Here lyeth the lx>dy of Elizabeth, the wife of Anthonv* 
Maddock, who died the 2i8t day of April, 1767, in the 57th 
year of her age. 

•' Here Iveth the bodv of Alice, daughter of Anthony 
Maddock, who died the 7th of April, Anno Domini^ 1700, aged 
between 6 and 7 years. 

•< Here also lyeth the body of Ann Maddock, the daughter 
of Anthony Maddock and Ann his wife, who died the 9th of 
November, 1721, aged 32. 

•* Here also lyeth the body of Anthony Maddock, who died 

the 25th of May. 1730, in the 65th vear of his age. 
*' Here also lyeth the body of Anthony Mad 
died the i6th day of December 1764, in the 69th year of 

" If arts or |Mirti ooald nv« from death. 
If grotat aod teara could give new breath ; 
My hopeful grief had lived itill, 
Moam not for me, it was God's will.** 

There are three tombs, with strong iron railings, fastened 
to the south wall of the Church, and inscribed on one is- 
the following:— 

" This tomb« erected by Anthony Maddock in the year 


The Ty-Newydd Family. 

** Here lyeth the body of Jacob Price, died 23rd of Juner 

** Here lyeth the body of Morgan Price, died 7th July^ 
1716, aged 78. 

" Here Ivcth the body of Recs Morgan, son of the said 
, Price, who died Feb. i6th; 1731, aged 54. 
'* Here lyeth the body of Catherine Price, spinster, died 

14th Feb., 1734, &£fed 21. 

** Here lyeth the body of Jennet, wife of the said Reca 
Morgan, who died March i8th, 1756, aged 72. 

'* Morgan Price, Esq., of Ty-Newydd, died .June 2istr 
1778, aged 68. 

" There fled at great a sonl as ever warmed a Welshman'i breait.*' 

'* Mary Price, daughter of Morgan and Gwenllian PricCr 
died 1743, aged 2 years. 

" Rees Price, son of the above M. and G. Price, died 
Sep. 15th, 1761, aged i6. 


" The above Gwenllian Price died the 6th day of Feb., 
1772, a^ed 62. 

•* Richard Pricei Surgeon, son of the above M. and G. 
Price, died Dec. 7th, 1793, aged 56. 

*< In Memory of Thomas Smith, Surgeon, nephew of the 
above R. Price, aged 21, buried at Ath, in Flanders, June, 


*' Jennet Smith, died April, 1770, aged 3 years. 

** Also Richard Price Smith, died January, 2780, aged . 
I month. 

** Ann Smith Pritchard, died August, 1790, aged 5 months. 

*<In Memory of Morgan Price Smith, who tor nearly 
fifty years lived at New House, in this Parish, where he died 
Sep. 9th, 1854. 

** Also Mary, his widow, who died April Z4th, 1855." 

Near the Tower on the south side, " lieth the remains o 
the Rev. Evan Phillips, Curate of this Parish, he died Sept. 
xith, 1783, aged 34.*' On the front panel of this tomb 
is an Epitaph in Welsh, composed by the eminent 
Clergyman, the Rev. D. Jones, of Llangan, which is as 
follows : — 

'* Mel us odiaeth oedd cael huno, 
Aowyl lesu, yo dy hedd; 
Melus etaiydd cael codi 

*N ogoneddus ar dy wedd :— 
Dere'D fuan ar y cwmwl. 

Gyda bloedd yr udRorn mawr, 
Casgla'Q gO'oo d' etifeddion, 
O lochesau Uwch y Uawr. 

*' Sweet. O Jesus, 'twas to slumber. 
In thiDe arms in peaceful rest, 
Sweeter still, when thou shalt call us^ 

In thy form to join the blest ;^ 
Quickly come on clouds descending, 

Bid thy mighty trumpet sound, 
Til) thine heirs their grave bonds rending 
To eternal life shall bound. 

" R. D. M." 

This rev. gentleman was a native of Llangrallo, and was 
a distinguished preacher. 

•' Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Thomas John 
Williams ( \f yddfai), lor six months a faithful minister of 
Christ at Maesteg Episcopal Chapel, who died asth March, 
1854, aged 36 years. 

•• This tomb is erected as a slight tribute to his worth, 
and as a token oi their affection by a sorrowing congre* 


«* Yb briddyn daw dyn er doaiau— odiel, 
Er Awcbos gyoeddfau ; 
Ymddalted y meddyliau, 
Ar well byd. ar anil ban/' 

" Erected by some of the Old Parishioners in friendly 
remembrance ot Thomas Evan, for 45 years Parish Clerk of 
Llangynwyd, who died Dec. 30, 1877, aged 76 years* 

•* Uuniodd fedd glwvswedd a slAn— i Inoedd 

Lawer o bob oedran ; ^ 

Heddyw hwn sydd ei bunan. 
Yn ^r naikd dan y gro naAn.'* 

The Old Castle. 

From what remains of the Old Castle, it appears that it 
must have been at some period a building of some strength, 
and its position is a sufficient proof that it was built and 
occupied for military purposes, long before the introduction 
of Artillery. The date of its erection, and indeed its history, 
are quite unknown. The distinguished antiquarian,— Mr. 
Clarke, of Dow]ais,^is somewhat sceptical as to any Castle 
having existed here ; but what may be seen at present of 
the ruins will satisfy any one who has seen it, that it was 
one time a place of considerable importance. Rice Merrick, 
in his history of Glamorganshire's Antiquities (1578), men- 
tions seven castles as having been situated upon the moun- 
tains, of which Llangynwyd was one, that of which was 
called Castdl Coch. 

The Castle was built in one of the most secluded spots 
that could be found within the Parish, and though it is onlv 
a h'ttle oyer a quarter of a mile distant from the Parish 
Church, it is only known to those who are intimately 
acquainted with the locality, for it can hardly be seen from 
any of the roads leading to the village. 

It stands in a deep glen, and on each side a stream runs 
close by, the streams uniting at the bottom of the Castle 
ground. These streams, at the time the Castle was occupied, 
were feeders of the deep moat, which is still to be seen, "sur- 
rounding the whole building. The ground upon which the 
Castle stood, with that which is supposed to have belonged 
to it, is about two acres ; but if we take the field adjoining 
the Castle, which bears traces of having been formidably 
entrenched, and undoubtedly was connected with the Castle, 
It would be considerably more. 

Some are of opinion that it was built upon a still older 
encampment, and that it was erected by the Welsh inha- 
biting these hills, who gave such good account of themselves. 


and proved such formidable enemies to those who invaded 
our country. 

From what is seen of the outer walls, it is evident that 
there was no great art displayed in the erection of the 
structure. The materials found on the spot only were used, nor 
can we find that even lime to any extent was employed. Its 
plan resembles, and might be copied from, that of the early 
Romans, who invariably preferred to build in an oblong 
square, unless there were important reasons to the contrary. 
It appears to have only consisted of a single court, or ward ; 
the sides of which were flanked by towers. The great hall, 
and domestic apartments, built upon the outer walls, looked 
into the court. A wet and a dry moat surrounded the whole, 
and entrance to the Castle was obtained by the drawbridge 
that crossed the moat, and the barbican on the adjoining field 
towards the west, in the direction of the old encampments 
on the side of Margam mountain. 

Like other old Welsh Castles, this has its traditions. One 
of these is to the effect that there is a subterraneous passage, 
leading from the Castle to Pontrkydyeyff, a distance of about 
two miles, and that inside the Castle, in some of its con- 
cealed rooms, is still an iron chest full of treasure, guarded 
by superhuman agency ; and that an old man who lived a 
long while ago in the neighbourhood, at one time attempted 
to abstract the treasure, but failed to get near the chest on 
account of the light being blown out by the guardian Spirit. 
The present condition of the Old Castle and its surroundings 
is, perhaps, of greater interest to the Botanist than the 
Antiquarian ; as the whole is clothed with rich verdure, con- 
taining some rare specimens of indigenous plants. The 
following interesting species may be seen growing over the 
ruiiis and its vicinity : — 

In the moat grows Cnicus palustris, thi marsh ihistU; 
Aspidium Filix Mas, male fern; Scolopendrum Vulgare, Harfs 
tongue fern; Geranium robertianum, stinking craneshUl; Rubus 
Idens, wild raspberry; Pyrus Ancuparia, The Mountain Ash; 
Circea lutetiana, E»jM»/^r*5 night sfiade ; Stachys Sylvatica, 
Wood woundwort ; Epilobium Montana, Mountain Willowfterb. 

Amid a profusion of hazel bushes, &c., around the 
entrance to the Castle, are seen : — Lastroea Filix Foemina, 
T/u lady fern; Lactuca Virosa, Wild lettuce; Asplenium tri- 
chomanes. Common maiden-hair Spleenwort; Oxalis Acetosella, 
Wood Sorrel; while the stones around are covered by the 
Marchantia polymorphia, or Common liverwort. 

In the main building, some fine Oak and Ash trees look 
down upon a forest of Angelica Sylvestris, Common Angelica, 


once much used as a sweetmeat when candied. Pteris 
Aquilina, Ccmtfum brake ; Digitalis purpurea, Ccmmon Fox-glove, 
which grows in abundance everywhere. The sloping south 
bank of the moat is nearly covered by a thick growth of 
Pinpinella Saxifrage, Buniet Saxifrage; by the bank of the 
brook is found Eupatorium Cannabinum, Henip Agrimony. 
In the fields, and beside some roads in the neighbourhood, 
may be found the Lastrea Oreopteris, the sweet scented Buckler 
/^n»; Betonica officinalis, ^^ Wood Betony* 

Perhaps the rarest plants found in the district are the Dro* 
sera longifolia. Narrow-leaved Sundew ; and the Drosera rotundi* 
folia, Round'leaved Sundew ; the insectivorous plants referred 
to by the late Charles Darwin. In the same bog grows the 
Narthecium Ossifrageum, Lattcashtre AspJiodet; Carex puli- 
caris, Tlieflea Carex; Rosa rubiginosa. Sweet brier; Polygola 
Vulgaris,* Aff/i^tewr^; Erica tetralix, Cross-leaved heath. In the 
summer months on the tips at Maesteg are seen growing the 
Oenothera biennis. The sweet uented Evening Primrose. 

On the hills scarcely anything is met with but Sheep's 
fescue grasst Festuca Ovina, Moor CorUf Juncus Squarosus, 
and Juncus lamprocarpus. 

The Roman Camp. 

This old encampment is in a very good state of preserva- 
tion. It is situated on the Llangynwyd sideof Margam Hill, 
on Ty'n-Cwm Farm, and the spot was known to the older 
inhabitants of the Parish as the ** Bwlwarcau,*** and this 
name was adopted by the late Ordnance Survey. There is 
no doubt that it was constructed by the Romans during one 
of their journeys through this part of the country. The dis* 
cipline of the Romans was chiefly conspicuous in their 
marches and encampments. They never passed a night, 
even in the longest marches, without pitching a camp, and 
fortifying it with a rampart and ditch. Persons were always 
sent before to choose and mark out a place for the purpose. 
This encampment corresponds in every respect with the 
form of the Roman Castra, in which an army remained but 
one, two, or, at most, three nights. Its form is square, and 
it is surrounded by a ditch about nine feet deep, and twelve 
or fifteen feet broad ; and a rampart composed of the earth 
dug from the ditch, and divided into^two parts, called the 
upper and lower. There are other encampments higher up 
on the mountain, but whether they are relics of the Romans, 
or the work of a later period, we are not prepared to say. 

• Sm sols oo origin of tbia term in '* Daviet' History of West Gower." 


On the summit of the same hill are still visible some traces of 
what is said to have been a Roman road, which is known by 
the inhabitants as ** Heol y Moch '* ; — which is supposed to 
lead from the Baiden Hills to this encampment, and thence 
in a northerly direction, descending Blaeucynaivoa Mountain, 
and crossing the intervening valley, to ascend the brow of 
the Garnwen, and to traverse the ridge as far as Cymmer; 
thence in the direction of Hirwain, and from there to Brecon. 
Portions of this old thoroughfare still retain suggestive names, 
such as Rhiw-tbr-y^Cytttfy and Cawsi (causeway), Talsam, &c. 


This is a huge mound or hillock on Margam Mountain, 
about two and a half miles west of Llangynwyd Church, and 
about the same distance eastward from Margam Church, and 
is considered one of the seven wonders of Glamorgan. It 
may have been the exact spot in former days where the 
Hamlets of Cwmdu and Llangynwyd Middle conjoined, and 
where both met on the eastern edge of the boundary of Mar- 
gam Parish. 

It is supposed that after a great battle fought on this hill, 
the slain were laid to rest under this iwmpath* It seems to 
be alluded to in the Myfyrian Archaeology, vol. iii., p. 275, 
under a series of ** triads,** which were said to have been 
recited " Ger bron Twmpath Ptydydiion Tir larlL** We read 
that the bards of Tir larll were in the habit of assembling 
alternately on the 24th of June of every year on the Twntpatk^ 
in the Church of Llangynwyd^ and the Church of BtHws^ to 
hold their Goneddau or Bardic Congresses. But what is most 
interesting concerning this mound is the general tradition, 
that no dew was ever seen upon it, hence the name by which 
it is still known. Of course, were this the case, it would 
have been truly one of the seven wonders of the world ; but 
the hillock was never dewless, and it would have 
been the last place for the Welsh bards to respect, 
much less to hold their Gorsedd upon. Was it not one of 
the choice delights of a certain eminent bard to see clusters of 
dew on clover — " Tew wlith ar feillion ** ? 

Tne name, diwliilh is only a corruption of the word Duw- 
lith. It was customary in ancient days to perambulate the 
bounds and limits of parishes, and an exhortation was given 
at certain stations on the journey ; an example of such 
exhortation may be seen in the book of Homilies* and 
given by the clergyman of either parishes, when the 
bounds were beaten, it would be, indeed, Duw-iitht a lesson 
rom God. It may be further said that the words Duw and 


llUkt as commonly spoken, give a most accurate idea of the 
way in which the word diwliik is pronounced by the inhabit 
tants of the immediate district. 

The Lbtterbd Stonb. 

This ancient stone or monument was placed about two 
hundred yards from the Twmpaih, It is about 5 feet in length, 
i\ feet broad, and about a foot thick, while the face of the 
stone bears an inscription entirely in Roman Capitals ; the 
whole being in excellent preservation. There was in olden 
times an affirmation among the ignorant people of the neigh- 
bourhood, that whosoever should read the inscription 
would soon die. 'jThe following is the inscription :— 



l/C lyTVQMAI f ' 



The above inscription has perplexed the profoundest 
scholars, and the true meaning has not been ascertained yet. 
Taliesin Williams thought it to be of as early date as a.d. 300r 
while Prof. Westwood, of Oxford, thinks it is more probably 
of the fifth, or even the sixth century. Dr. Jones again, in 
his " History of Wales,*' p. iii, regards Bodvoc, as identical 
with Madoc, a kinsman of the last Llewelyn, whom, he says, 
led an arm)r to Glamorgan, and was buried on this Vnoun tain, 
and maintains that the inscription on the stone alludes to him. 
See also the Book ofMargantj p. 199, and £nderbie*s Cambria 
Triumphans, p. 331. Dr. Jones's conjecture is supported by a 
quotation from an Ode in the Myf. Arch., vol. z, p. 125, 
which was composed by the Bard Casnodyn, who flourished 
between 1290 and 1330, on '* Madoc," which reads thus :— 
** Lkw gUw ghewhn Lan'Gynnyi,** 

In the same poem, several local names are also mentioned, 
such as Gostn and Margam^ which proves beyond any doubt 
that Madoc had identified himself with this part of Glamorgan* 
shire. To our mind, Dr. Jones is nearer the mark than some 
other historians who say that Madoc 's army, after many 
struggles, was defeated by King Edward I., and himself taken 
prisoner in 1295, and confined for life in the Tower of 

The Chancel Stone. 

This curious old stone was found about 30 years ago in the 

* Dr. JOMi traniUtes this inacriptioii ai follows :»** H$f$ Utt Mnioc ah 
CtiyM ab Sim of North WoUs," 


middle of the chancel wall, when the said wall was taken 
down to be rebuilti and it is presumed to have been placed 
there when the Church was restored in the year x688. The 
stone is extremely hard, and does not appear to be of a kind 
that occurs in the neighbourhood. 

It is a8 inches long, by 13 inches wide, and 8 inches thick^ 
and is pierced through with an oblong hole, which is 
supposed to have been formed for the socket in which the 
base of a cross was fixed, of which there are no remains. 
There is a slight trace around the edge of what may be re- 
garded as ** Ogham Characters," but unlortunately the greater 
portion of them have been chipped off by an ignorant handy 
when it was placed in the wall* 

There are lines cut very sharply on th^ surface, but they 
can scarcely be regarded as the letters of an inscription oif 
any kind. 


The Roman Catholic Chap«l.— The Indepeadenta.— Welih Calviniatic 
Methoditta.-*Bapti8ts.— Weileyant.— The Maesteg Town Hall.— 
Elementary Schoola. 

The Roman Catholic Chapbl. 

^^P to about the year 1870 the Romanists at Maesteg 

^tcix) depended on missions from Bridgend and Aberaian. 

^^ The Earl of Dunraven had left in his will £2,000 for 

the establishment of a mission at Maesteg, which legacy was 

reduced to ;^i,8oo by payment of duty, and this sum was 

expended on the Chapel, School, and Priest's house. 

These buildings are situated on a portion of Maesteg 
farm, the property of Colonel Turberville, of Ewenny, not 
far firom the spot known as the Gam Lwyd, The Chapel, 
&c., is a Gothic structure, designed by Mr. R. Buckland, of 
Swansea, in the good taste which generally characterizes 
Roman Catholic edifices. The Chapel was opened in the 
Autumn of the year 1872, and dedicated to ** Our Lady and 
Saint Patrick." The six brass candlesticks on the altar were 
purchased at Paris ; and the side altar, which is richly carved, 
was made at Munich, and presented to this Chapel by the 
late Countess of Dunraven. The opening ceremony was 
conducted by Canon Price, of Bridgend ; Canon Vaughan, 
O.S.B. ; and the Rev. Peter Lewis, M.R. and Dean, Swansea. 
The present resident Priest is Father Davies. 

The Independents. 

The Rev. Samuel Jones, of Brynllywarch, established the 
first Independent Church in this Parish, at a place called 
Ty*maen. When the chiurch which he also planted at 
Bettws, an adjoining Parish, removed for some reason to 
Bryn-menyn, some of the members from this locality, who 
found the distance to Bryn-menyn too great, united with the 
few who had been accustomed to assemble at Ty-maen. 
The community thus constituted, after a length of time, 
found a meeting place at the Graig Fach, which was 
originally built to accommodate the Calvinistic Methodists ; 
but Rees HoweUs, of Sychbant, who had control over this 


little meeting house, and on whose land it was erected, was 
expelled for some reason by the CM. fraternity, and he 
in return gave over the Graig Fach to the Independents, and 
joined that society. Rees Howells before his death, again 
willed the Graig Fach to the CM., and the Independents were 
obhged to seek another meeting place, which- they did this 
time at the long-room of the *' Old House Tavern," Llangyn- 
wyd Village, where services were held during manv years. 
The cause at this time was under the charge of the Rev. 
Abraham Tibbot, who lived and farmed at Brynllywarch ; a 
portion of this place recalls the good man's name to this day, 
being known as Craig Abraham. About the year z8oo the 
little fraternity ventured to acquire an unfinished house which 
had been commenced, but not completed, by a well known 
tradesman in the village. This they converted into a place 
of worship under the name of Bethesda, and a small plot 
of burial ground was attached to it. Mr. Tibbot was 
succeeded by the Rev. Edward Walters. During Mr. 
Walters' ministry, the Independent Chapel at Cymmer, 
Glyncorrwg, was erected — the first offshoot of this prolific 
and honourable tree. Mr. Walters did not remain long at 
Llangynwyd, but emigrated to America, where he died. 

His successor was the Rev. Methusalem Jones, who, after 
a period of service of six years, left, to take the oversight of 
a small church at Merthyr. After him came the Rev. Wm. 
Beynon, who laboured here for twelve years. Mr. Beynon 
died in 1846, and was interred in the Parish Churchyard. It 
was during his ministry that Maesteg began to be known as 
a centre of mining industry, and the Maesteg Works were 
commenced. Consequently, upon this, Carmel Chapel had 
been built, another branch of the cause inaugurated by the 
small and feeble remnant at Llangynwyd Village. 

Carmel, in its turn, has prosperea, and has yet further 
extended its boundaries,— and proved a worthy scion of the 
good and enterprising stock from which it sprang. 

Now, though we have hardly brought the history of the 
Independent denomination down to these days, we arrive at 
the time of the advent of one who was, though the grave 
has but lately covered him, a fit contemporary of the greatest 
orators and preachers wild Wales has ever produced. A man 
of commanding presence, an orator, and a sincere Christian— 
the Rev. William Morgan was known and beloved wherever 
the Welsh Language was spoken, and the benign influence 
of the Welsh Pulpit has extended. Though he had reached 
the ripe age of 84 years, and had ministered in this Parish 
for the long period of 53 years, he died in the plenitude of 


his powers. He hath entered into his rest, but his name 
will long be remembered, and fragrant to our hearts. He 
was ordained to the work of the ministry in March, 1829, at 
Llangynwyd, when he took the charge of Bethesda, and the 
sister churches at Carmel, Maesteg, and Siloam, Cefncribwr. 
Becoming, after some years, pastor of Carmel alone, he 
amtinued to minister there till his death, which took place 
January 4th, 1883. 

By this time, the Independents have increased to such' 
a degree, that they possess in the Parish seven Welsh 
chapels, and one English. The following is a list of them,, 
and their pastors : — 

Carmel. Maesteg ••. ... The Rev. W. R. Bowen. 

Zoar. ., ... ... „ M John Jones. 

Siloh, ,. ... D. Prosser. 

Sanm« „ ..• „ „ — — 

Bethesda. Uan Village D.Morris. 

Ebenezcr. Garth ... R. Waltem 

Dyflryn. Higher Hamlet .. .. .. — . Morris. 

Congregatiooal {EmgUk) ., J.James. 

The Calvinistic Methodists. 

It is recorded that Howell Harris, one of the founders of 
the CM. denomination, once preached at Llangynwyd 
Village. Perhaps this fact would not have been known to us^ 
at present, had it not been for the following incident in con- 
nection with his visit. 

It appears that he addressed his hearers from a mound, 
which was attached to the wall of the Church-yard, and that 
as soon as this was made known to Mrs. Thomas, the wife of 
the then Vicar of the Parish, who lived at Maescadrod, she 
gave orders for the mound, which had been in her opinion 
thus defiled, to be immediately taken down and removed. It 
does not appear that his preaching had much effect on 
the people of the "Old Parish,*' tor it was some thirty 
years after the time it is supposed that Mi. Harris 
was at Llangynwyd, that we find a few of his followers 
commencing to hold prayer meetings at a small house, 
called Nawt y Crynwydd, which, in process of time, came 
to be designated as a small Church. This event dates 
as for back as the year 1774. Among others who had joined 
was Mr. Rees Howells, of Sychbant, a respectable farmer ; 
who invited his fellow- worshippers to meet at his house, an 
offer they readily accepted, as the Sychbant in every respect 
was most convenient to the majority of them. After they had 
assembled for some time at this place, and had increased in 
number, Mr. Howells proposed that a Chapel should be built 


on one of his fields- This proposal was again received with 
much favour, and with the aid they received from the neigh- 
bourhood at large, the little Chapel was completed, and was 
called the Graig Fach, As already mentioned, R. Howells» 
havmg transgressed the rules of this Society, and been 
expelled, he made over the Graig Fach to the Independents* 
which compelled the little Methodist brotherhood to remove 
their meeting place for a time to Brynmawr farm-house, which 
was only a short distance from the Graig Fach, and was 
occupied by one of the name of Sion Maddoch, It is stated 
that while meetings were held at this place, a man by the 
name of John David attended their meetings regularly from a 
place called the Splot, a farm near St. Donats, at a distance 
of over 18 miles. About this time also, the first monthly 
meeting of this connexion was held in the Parish, and for 
convenience* sake, it was arranged to have it holden at Llan 
Village. The Rev. David Jones, of Llangan, and the Rev- 
Evan Phillips, of Llangrallo, preached in the Parish Church 
in the morning, and Hopkin Sevan, of Cilfwtiwr, near Llan*^ 
gyfelach, preached in the afternoon behind the old tithe barn, 
which stood where the Corner House stands at present- 
This exhorter became afterwards the only ordained minister 
of this connexion in Glamorganshire for some years. 

Mr. R. Howells, of Sychbant, before his death desired that 
the Graig Fach should be restored to the CM., and fron^ his 
death, which took place in the year 1800, till the year 1828, 
meetings and Sabbath Schools were regularly held at the 
Graig Fach ; the Sabbath journey for those who were etfgaged 
to preach at this place was Pontrhydyfen in the morning, Graig 
Fach in the afternoon, and Glynogwr in the evening. 

The inauguration of the Maesteg Works brought large 
numbers of strangers to settle in the place, and the Graig. 
Fach was not found spacious enough to accommodate their 
number, and the venerable old place was abandoned ; one 
portion removing to the long-room of the ** Old House 
Tavern," while the other found a temporary dwelling at a. 
place called Ysguhor Wen, near the works. 

In the year 1840 Tabor Chapel was erected, and soon 
after, the little fraternity at Llan Village converted a. 
dwelling-house into a little chapel, which has been subse- 
quently enlarged, and is called ** Y Babell.** 

The population of Maesteg being still on the increase, the 
want of another Chapel was felt in the Upper District, and 
about the year 1850 Hermon was built, which may be con- 
sidered as a branch of Tabor. About 14 years ago, another 
handsome chapel was erected at Garth^ in the lower portion of.' 


the district of Maesteg, and finally, another at Pontrhydycyff ; 
making a. total of five places of worship belonging to the 
Calvinistic Methodists within the Parish. 

The Rev. John Williams, of Gartk^ is the only ordained 
minister residing in the neigbourhood ; the various pulpits are 
supplied by ministers from other districts on the Sabbath. 

Thb Baptist Denomination. 

There appears to be no doubt that persons holding the 
Baptist creed existed in this Parish even during the Revolu- 
tion, which ended in the execution of King Charles I., and 
the subsequent overturning of the Hierarchy of the Estab- 
lished Church in England. The Rev. Joshua Thomas, in his 
** History of the Baptists," says, *' I hear that one of the 
military- officers under Cromwell lived at Nantmwth, near 
Coetrehen, where Mr. Jonathan Francis now lives, and that 
he was one of the Baptists. I did not hear his name. Others 
of them (the Baptists) lived in these parts in the time of the 
persecution (I presume after the restoration of King Charles 
II.). In the Parish of Llangynwyd, near there, lived Mr. 
Samuel Jones, of Brynllywarch ; there were some Baptists in 
that Parish at the time of the persecution. I was lately told 
by an old man that he remembered three of them, named 
Howell Rees, Morgan Evan, and Evan John, and that these 
people and his own parents were persecuted, and compelled 
to pay the fine for not attending Church. He said that 
religious fellowship existed between his parents and these 
men, and that they were men of good reputation. The old 
man himself could not remember the persecution, but stated 
that these men lived until after the coming of more peaceful 
times. There is no reason to doubt that our fathers in the 
iaith suffered in those times here, as in other parts of 

Further evidence of the existence of Baptists in the neigh- 
bourhood is afforded by the same author, who states that 
" Mr. Thomas Joseph, who was in 1662 expelled from the 
livinff of Llangeinor, and Mr. Howell Thomas, who was 
expeUed from that of Glyncorrwg, were Baptists." 

But, with the decline of religious feeling that followed and 
existed so long after the re-accession of the Stuarts, we lose 
sight of the denomination in this Parish until early in this 
present century, when we find that a W. Griffiths, a member 
and preacher at Zion Chapel, Merthyr, removed to '* Llwyni *' 
in the year 1827, and that he was an acceptable preacher at 
Maesteg, Cwmgarw, and Bettws. He, however, is, in a few 


vears, lost sight of, and, if living, does not appear to have 
been a recognised preacher in 18^19. 

After this, the Baptist cause* in Maesteg becomes identi- 
fied with the history of the Rev. Thomas Hopkin, an energetic, 
brave, and earnest man, who, single-handed, appears to have 
been the means of again reviving the denomination in this 
place, to whose honour it should be said, that the present 
flourishing state of the denomination, with its six fine chapels, 
many hundreds of communicants, and many more hundreds of 
adherents, is the outcome of this worthy pioneer's energy and 
devotion. Bom in the year 1792 at Ystradyfodwg, he appears 
to have preached his first sermon at the chapel near his 
birthplace when he was about seventeen years of age. Sa 
promising did the young preacher appear, that he was re- 
commended to enter the Baptist College then existing at 
Abergavenny, and the preliminary arrangements for that 
purpose were entered into. Unfortunately, however, cir* 
cumstances at the last moment prevented this, and Thomas 
Hopkin never received the advantage of a collegiate 

Having taken unto himself a wife in the year 1816, Mr» 
Hopkin removed from Ystrad to Hirwain, where, upon the 
re-opening of the Hirwain Works by Mr. Wm. Crawshay, he 
was most active in religious work ; and in obtaining the 
money to liquidate the debt on a chapel erected through his 
instrumentality in 1826. Two years after this, he again 
removed, this time to Maesteg, and on Christmas Day, 1828, 
became the ordained minister of the Baptist Church in that 
place. And let it here be noted that this was a time when 
the Baptist cause (as were all religious causes in Maesteg) 
was at its weakest, where religious people were few, and their 
circumstances poor. Still, some there were who were faith- 
ful, and whose names are still reverenced by those who are 
able to look back at the past, as having been faithful and 
earnest, even in these times of religious depression. Such 
were Richard and Ann Evans, commonly known as Richard 
and Ann o*r s)u>p. In Mr. Evans* house it was that the 
little brotherhood met, to hear the sermons of Mr. 
Hopkin. The little church appears, according to its means, 
to have been truly liberal in its treatment of its minister, and 
truly united in its desire to serve its Master. An instance of 
this is afforded by the fact that Mrs. Evans, afterwards wife 
of Mr. Dd. Evans, Grocer, was accustomed to walk from 
Nant-tew-laeth every Sunday, and frequently on week nights 

* Rev« I. Tbomat' history of the Welsh Baptists. 


also* in order to attend di\nne service— a self-sacrifice which 
DOW-a*days finds few imitators. 

The business at the shop of Mr. Evans, and the atten- 
dance at the services held by the little fraternity there, appear 
to have increased, and the congregation were compelled 
to seek larger premises. After having had, for a short 
time, the use of the house of one Samuel Rees, they 
determined to apply to Mr. Richards, of the Coetrehen 
Arms, for the use of the ** Long Room " attached 
to that house, which was immediately granted, and 
the little flock remained there for some time. It was during 
this period that one of the lamentable schisms, usually denomi- 
ated splits^ resulted in the removal of a portion of the flock to 
the holding of services in the loft of the Crown Inn, where 
they remained some time. It is, however, pleasing to note, 
that, by-and-bye, the wandering few returned to the fold, and 
Thomas Hopkm was once more pastor of a united people. 
The accommodation at the Coetrehen Arms, in its turn, 
became too narrow, and now the Church, impelled thereto, no 
doubt, by the courage and hopefulness of Mr. Hopkin, 
resolved to build a house of their own. This they did, 
upon ground leased to them by the liberal and large- 
hearted Gervase P. Turberville, Esq., for a term of 999 
years. Doubtless, the undertaking was to the little brother- 
hood a large one. The chapel cost them the sum of sixty 
pounds, and was called Bethania — the progenitor of three 
later Bctlianias, each larger and more spacious than its pre- 
decessors. Since then, the history of the Baptists at Maesteg' 
has been reduplication of that of Maesteg itself. With the 
increase of the staple industries, and the consequent increase 
of population and prosperity, the Baptist Churches have con- 
tinueid to grow stronger and more influential, and, let us 
hope, more earnest and devoted also. 

As with the other denominational bodies, the Baptist 
churches at Maesteg have brought up in their midst men 
who have made the name of Niaesteg better known than 
otherwise it would have been. Thomas Hopkin stands in 
the front, as pioneer ; strong, undaunted, brave, ilu man to 
initiate a great cause, and to help it over its early difficulties. 
But there are others. One of his successors, the Rev. Hugh 
Hughes, now of Dinas, is no • unknown man in Wales ; 
Howell Davies, of Salem, a man of simple piety and 
humble eloquence, did a great and honourable work 1 
And he who has so lately passed away— Richard Hughes * 

* Tba • Rev. Richard Hoghet was bom November itt, 1S20, died 
December ^tb, Z8S5. 


—has left behind him a name that will smell sweet while 
Wales loves poetry, and eloc^uence, and Godliness. To have 
known this good man, so simple in his pathos, so meek in 
his demeanour, so beloved and so respected by all that 
knew him, — ^was to know one of the brightest examples of 
that noblest of God's works,— a true Christian man. His 
form, his features, his utterances, and his poems, will not 
be forgotten, while those live who were acquainted with 
him ; and these are many, for the inoffensiveness of his 
life, and the integrity of his character, endeared him, not 
only to his fellow-townsmen, but to all Welshmen. 

The Baptist denomination now stands very high in the 
Parish, for the number of its adherents, and the beauty of 
the edifices devoted to its ritual. 

Following is a list of the Baptist C pels and their 
present Pastors :— 

Betbania ... ... — ^-^_ 

Salem. . ... ... Rev. J. Cenlanydd WUUams. 

Tabemacto ... ... ,, fedward fooet. 

Calvary ... ... ,. D. P. Gnfiitht. 

rr :::h««'"| :ll^ 

The Wbslbvans. 

The first start in connection with this denomination of 
Christians in the Parish was in a cottage in McGregor Row, 
in the year I839. Services were held in this cottage for 
about two years, and conducted by local preachers, and occa* 
sionally by an ordained minister from Cardiff, in which cir- 
cuit Maesteg was at that period. When the number of 
members reached ten, an effort was made to acquire a place 
for worship ; and at a circuit meeting held at Llantwit, the 
matter was considered, but disallowed, as being contrary 
to the rules of the Wesleyan Conference. Subsequently, 
Bridgend and Cowbridge, with the surrounding villages, 
were constituted into a separate circuit, apart from that of 
Cardiff, and the little church at Maesteg was attended to by 
the ministers residing at Bridgend and Cowbridge, and the 
services held at the old Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, 
now the residence of the Rev. John Jones. 

For some reason the services were again discontinued 
in the Welsh Chapel, and the small band uf worshippers 
held their meetings for some time at the old English Baptist 
Chapel, Galltcwm Row ; in Shoemaker Row ; in the Swan 
Club-room ; and in the Old Works Infant Schoolroom. 
After these years of wandering, in the year 1857, the friends 
resolved upon building a small chapel. The plans and 


scheme were approved of at a quarterly meetinff of the 
circuit at Bridgend, the Rev. Thomas Osborne (afterwards 
I^. Osborne) presiding. 

The chapel is in the Gothic stvle of architecture, capable 
of seating 2oo» and is situated in Alfred-street. The pioneers 
of Wesleyan Methodism in the Parish were Mr. George 
Bedford and Mr. William Rowe. The chapel is free from 
debt, but the cause is still small. 

Thb Mabstbg Town Hall. 

This beautiful and massive block of buildings is situated 
near the Railway Station, and erected on an enclosure of 
about two acres of ground adjacent to Commercial-street, the 
principal thoroughfare of the town. The memorial stone 
was placed the jist October, 1881, by the Lord Lieutenant 
of Glamorgan— C. R. M. Talbot, Esq., M.P.. who ffave prac* 
tical proof of his sympathy with the movement by contri* 
buting a donation of ^^500 to the building fund. The 
Market, Hall and Grounds were opened for use aand 
October, 1882. 

The building is of Queen Anne style of architecture, a 
style now greatly in vogue. The Hall is 86 feet long, by 
45 feet broad, and 40 feet high, with a gallery capable of 
seating 350 persons; the ground floor is covered by a com- 
modious Market-place, Board-rooms, &c. The great liall 
is reached from the street by a double flight of stairs ; the 
stage is admirably constructed with most convenient retiring 
rooms, cloak-room, and a flrst-class entrance. The grounds 
on the east side are enclosed by a high stone wall, and on 
the west with ornamental railings with entrances from both 

The plans were prepared by Mr. H. C. Harris, of 
Cardiff; the Contractors being Messrs. G. Thomas & Sons, 
of Pembroke and Newport, Government Contractors. The 
duties of Honorary Secretary of the Building Committee were 
entrusted to Mr. J. H. Thomas, Ashby Villa, who was also 
a member of the Maesteg Board of Health. Mr. Thomas 
has carried out his duties in a very satisfactory manner, 
and has been instrumental in collecting nearly all the 
donations subscribed to the building fund. The cost of 
the whole structure was considerably over j^3,ooo, which is 
by this time nearly all removed. 


There are no schools within the Parish, higher than 
Elementary. There is a National School at Llangynwyd 


Village under the supervision of the Vicar, and a Catholic 
School at Maest^ ; the other schools are connected with the 
different works ofthe district, and are styled British Schools. 

A portion of the Upper Hamlet has lately been amalga- 
mated with the Parish of Gl3rncorrwg, for the purpose of 
forming a School Board district for that part, and a com- 
modious and expensive building has been erected at Cymmer* 

The accommodation for the whole Parish may be roughly 
estimated to be for 3,500 children ; and the average attendance 
about a,ooo. The grants earned from the Education Depart- 
ment by all the schools (excepting the Cymmer B. School) 
for the year (1885), amounted to 1^1,453 sas. ad. 


Local indattriet, their history and devdopmeDt.— Introduction. ^Th 
starting of the Old Works.— The Spelter Works.— The Cambrian Iro 
Co.— Ty-Chwytb.— Garth and Cwmdu.- The Oakwood Colliery.— The 
Llwydarth Tinplate.Works.— The JJynA and Ogmoni Railway.— Talfedw 

tH£ valley of the Llyfnwy has long been renowned for 
the greatness of its mineral resources and the extent of 
its hidden mineral wealth : coal and ironstone of the 
richest quality are here found in such abundance that the 
winning and working of them have taken their place as the 
staple trades of the neighbourhood. Doubtless, the presence 
of these minerals has been known from a very early date — 
possibly since the time of the Roman invaders. Numerous 
nnds of Roman coins have been made in the neighbourhood, 
which are, presumably, the relics of a traffic, the parties to 
which have, centuries ago, passed away. There are also 
other proofs, which establish beyond doubt the great anti- 
quity of the staple industries in these parts. Mr. James 
Barrow, in his able and exhaustive paper on the mineral re- 
sources of the Llynvi Valley, notes the discovery of the 
remains of an ancient furnace, which was made in the course 
of excavations for the old tramway. We have, however, fur- 
ther proofs in the names which certain districts still retain. 
Not far away are Rhyd'y-Gefeiliau («The Ford of Smithies '*), 
and CU-y-Gofiaid ('• The Smiths' Retreat *')^names which are 
undoubtedly of great antiquity. Also, Cum^Nant-yGlo 
(** Coal-brook Dale '*}, &c. So many of the coal measures crop^ 
or rise to the surface, in this neighbourhood, and the work of 
coal-getting was thus rendered so easy, that we are not sur- 
prised to find that for centuries house coal has been raised in 
the parish, and that hence the fuel supply of a very wide dis- 
trict was obtained. Not that mining had then become the 
science which it maynow justly claim to be. The modes of coal- 
getting were undoubtedly primitive and rude in the extreme ; 
and in the diary of Mr. Parry, elsewhere referred to, we find 
evidence that the number of hands employed, and the 
amount of capital expended in the mining enterprises of 
former days, would now be considered ridiculously small. 


It would seem that our forefathers preferred^ as bein^ 
safer and less troublesome, to sink shafts to their coal 
measures, rather than to work through those horizontal or 
slightly inclining tunnels which are technically called levels 
Possibly, having in view the ample wealth of coal at their 
command, and their utter ignorance of the proper mode of ven- 
tilating underground workings, they were right. 80 it was, 
that when they reached the depth of from 20 to 40 feet, and 
when they found any difficulty in working with naked lights, 
the pit was abandoned, and a fresh one opened. They had 
primitive views, too, of the proper mode of working their 
coal. Ajb a rule, their pits were large enough only to allow 
one collier to work therein, and he, having heaved the coal 
from its bed, brought it up from the pit in a basket, using for 
the purpose a ladder of sufficient length. It was thought, too, 
that these shallow pits would be rendered unsafe were too large 
a quantity of coal taken away ; so coal was always left to form 
the roof of the working ; or, in other words, the lower part 
of the stratum only was worked, and the upper part left un- 
touched. There were also large pillars of solid coal left, in 
order that this roof should be supported ; so that, on the 
whole, we may conclude the fathers of the Llangynwyd 
coal mining community left behind rather more coal than 
they took away, even from the very little, comparatively, that 
they worked of the *' black diamonds.'* 

Still, what was, for those days, a large quantity of coal was 
raised in this neighbourhood, and the farm houses and 
cottages of the Vale of Glamorgan were indebted, for their 
cheerful coal fires, to this district. Viewed in the light of our 
present large trade, how strange does it appear that coal was 
then sold, not by weight, but by the sack, the usual price of 
a sack of coal, whatever its size, being three pence ! 

In keeping with the rest was the mode by which the coal 
was transported from the pit*s mouth to its destination. In 
the days we are describing — the days of cheap labour and dig- 
nified leisure— few labourers or tradesmen in rural districts 
were too poor to keep a donkey, which donkey generally 
earned a comfortable subsistence by the wayside, or on some 
common. When coal was to be fetched, a troop of these 
donkeys would wend their way up the valley, bearing the 
empty sacks, under the care of a lad or two, or, perhaps, the 
more careful superintendence of some superannuated labour- 
er, or even of a woman. Time was no great object on the 
journey, although it was necessary that the cavalcade should 
start very early in the morning— a custom which is referred 
to in the third line of the following triplet :-— 


MMtr oeiliog ooch yn cana, 
Mae*n bryd i'r mercbed gwni, 
Mae*r bachgen bacb yn myn'd t*a*r flo^ 
A'r fttwcb a*r llo yp brefu. 

The' eastern akief are glowing, 
The cock ia shrilly crowing; 
The lads are starting for the coaly 
The cow and calf are lowing. R. D. M. 

Arrived at the coal-pit, the sacks would be filled, the donkeys 
laden, and the homeward journey commenced, each animal, 
with its burden, being left at its owner's door, and a small 
gratuity handed to the conductor of the procession. But, by- 
and-bye, this cumbrous and toilsome means of transit grew out 
of date, while, at the same time, the fame of the Llangyn wyd 
and **Llwyni** coals became more widely known ; and thus it 
was that, almost within living memory, waggons came from 
the far distant banks of the Severn to the coal-pits at the 
Farm, near Llangynwyd village, or to those at Brynysig, Bryn* 
^^g* or Coegnantt the principal sources, it would appear, at 
that period, of bouse coal. 

It is to the works at Bfynrhjg, it would appear, that the 
unenviable distinction belongs of having been the scene of 
what was, seemingly, the first coUiery accident that occurred 
in the valley. One of the old parish registers mentions a 
man having been killed '* at Brynrhffg^ underground,** in the 
year 1682 (see Extracts from Parish Registers). We must not 
omit to mention, however, that there were, no doubt, other 
coal-pits than those mentioned worked in the neighbourhood 
from a very early date ; and the quantity of coal raised from 
some of them must have been considerable. We have on 
record an occurrence that happened in the year 1792, which, 
in the eyes of our forefathers, attained the dimensions of a 
catastrophe. At a place called Gwaen-y-Dyffryn, in the upper 
hamlet, a large quantity of coal had been raised during the 
slack summer months, in readiness for the anticipated winter 
demand. By some means or other, the coal took fire, and 
blaxed for some time, defying the appliances then at command 
to extinguish it. So high did the flames mount, and so 
fiercely did they rage, that the conflagration was visible in 
some parts of the Vale of Glamorgan, and great consternation 
was caused in the valley and the surrounding districts. 

The industries thus humbly inaugurated, and which have 
how attained such important dimensions, have suffered many 
vicissitudes; and, while the progress which has attended 
their development has been wonderful, there is a mournful 
record of energ)r wasted, wealth spent, and fortunes wrecked 
10 connection with. them. 


Leaving the somewhat misty past, we come to the early 
part of the present century, from whence, it would appear, 
we may date the commencement of coal and iron raising in 
this valley on a larger scale, and by modern methods. 

The honourable title of pioneer in this direction belongs 
to Mr. Thomas Jones, a currier, who, at the period men- 
tioned, carried on business at Abergavenny. It would 
appear that Mr. Jones was convinced that there were 
hidden treasures in some of the remote valleys of Glamor- 
ganshire,— riches that only waited to be unearthed by the 
pickaxe of the adventurous capitalist ; to reward him with 
the wealth and honours that had accrued to the Guests, the 
Hills, and the Crawshays. He visited the county on a 
prospecting tour, and, coming accidentally to this valley, 
found indications that convinced him that his dreams were, 
to some extent, to be realized, and the coveted riches almost 
within his grasp. Mr. Llewelyn David, the then owner of 
Llwyni farm, had thereon a small level which he worked. 
It was situated at Cwm-uaut-y-gwiailt near the spot whereon 
now stands the Crown Inn. Mr. Jones at once opened 
negotiations with Mr. David, and in 1798 leased the Llwyni 
farm, with the underlying minerals. The rent was certainly 
not excessive, viewed in the light of our present knowledge ; 
but in those days the speculation was considered a sufficiently 
risky one, and Mr. David was considered to have done weU 
in securing for his land a rent of j^ioo per annum, with 
three loads of coal weekly in winter and two in summer, 
which covenant was to continue during the term of the lease. 
In 1802, Mr. Jones leased Bryurkyg farm, and proceeded to 
commence operations on a larger scale. His first essays in 
coal mining prove him to have been a man of somewhat 
daring and original views. He, on the hill side at Brynrhyg, 
constructed a large pond, to contain the water of the 
adjacent mountain streams, and his project was, that the 
water should, when sufficient had accumulated, be allowed 
to rush down over the^ mountain side, so as to wash away 
the overlying earth, and lay bare to the light of day the cosd 
measures beneath. As might have been anticipated, the 
plan failed, and Mr. Jones was fain to cast about for some 
other mode of attaining his object. While matters were at 
this stage, Mr. Jones failed in business, was declared bank* 
rupt, and his property at Abergavenny sold. He had tddcen 
precautions to have the leases of Llwyni, &c., made out in 
the name of his brother, Mr. Charles Jones, and so saved 
these properties from the wreck of his affairs. Arrived at 
the end of his own capital, Mr. Jones spent years in his 


endeavours to induce other gentlemen to beconae partners in 
his undertaking ; and, in the year z824» concluded arrange* 
ments with six gentlemen to join him. These were Messrs. 
Buckland, Rusher (?), Stancombe» Motley, Fussell, and 

The labours and anxiety of 26 years were apparently 
about to be rewarded, and Mr. Jones was in London 
obtaining the necessary signatures to the deeds of part- 
nership, and, while there, was struck down by death. His 
brother, Mr. Charles Jones, took the matter up where it 
had b^n left, and proceeded to London, on the same errand 
that had proved so fatal to Mr. Thomas Jones. Marvellous 
to relate, his journey and his life were ended in the same 
peculiar manner. The apparently fatal task devolved 
thus upon another brother, Mr. William Jones, and he pro- 
ceeded to London, and carried the matter to a successful 

Besides the properties we have mentioned, the newly- 
formed Company took over Mr. Jones's interest in the farm 
called Cwrt-y-mwnws, or more properly perhaps Cwrt-y* 
mwnwjrs. This had been leased from the owner, Mr. John 
Hopkin, who lived at the farm-house, for 99 years, at an 
annual rent of i^io5. Mr. Hopkin had opened several pits 
on the land, and had done a considerable trade in coal. So 
great had the demand become, and the supply obtained by 
the primitive modes of coal-winning then in use was so 
limited, that it was seldom that Mr. Hopkins permitted the 
waggons and carts of his customers from a distance to be 
filled to their utmost capacitv. In many instances, he 
refused to supply strangers at all ; but, as a rule, rather than 
that they should be entirely disappointed, he compelled them 
to be content with only half-loads. Mr. Griffiths, of Coeg- 
nant, another coal proprietor, adopted the same course. 

Indeed, it would seem that these worthies lived in con- 
stant dread that their supply of the precious mineral would 
bie exhausted in their time. This was the common im- 
pression, and we find that public opinion was somewhat 
disposed to be satirical upon Mr. Jones, as having made bad 
bargains in his different ventures. The bulk of the coal 
had been worked; they said, and Mr. Tones could hardly 
be sane, to be so anxious to obtain the poor residue of 
which earlier speculators had had the cream. The millions 
of tons of coal and ironstone that have since been obtained, 
and the apparently inexhaustible wealth that is known to 
lemaiot will serve as a commentary upon, and a witness 
against, the correctness of public opinion in this case. 


The new Company commenced operations, under the 
style of the Maesteg Iron Works, in 1826. Mr. William 
Jones came to reside at the historic mansion of Cefn Ydfa, 
m order to superintend the erection of the projected works. 
He engaged, as manager, Mr. William David, of Bryncoch ; 
and as surveyor, a Mr. Llewelyn, of Pontypool. The build- 
ings were actually commenced in the month of May, 1826, 
and a large number of men at once found employment — 
some in digging the foundations, others in digging clay, 
which was made into bricks on the spot, and in quarrying 
stones. The old tramroad, the father, as it may be called, of 
the present railway, was also commenced. It was intended 
that this should be carried through Bridgend, and to the sea at 
O^more ; but the late Right Hon. Sir John Nichol opposed 
this route as being too near his residence, and the tramway 
was consequently laid to Porthcawl. This was possibly the 
origin of Porthcawl as a shipping port, and it is instructive 
to observe that the prescience of the Maesteg Iron Company 
has by this time been vindicated by the promotion of the 
Ogmore Dock and Railway Bill, and the works now being 
carried forward in connection therewith. 

In August, 1836, a *' patch " was opened at Cwm-nani-y' 
gwiail, the first ever opened in the Parish ; and at the end of 
the same year, another was opened at Cwm-au-yr-wyUt on 
Cwrt-y-mwitwys farm. Several others were opened in different 
localities during the following year. 

In August, 1827, were opened the two levels known as 
No. I and No. 2 ; and about the same time the foundations 
of two blast furnaces were dug, and their erection com- 
menced, under the care of Mr. Wayne. At the end of the 
same year. No. 3 level was opened, followed in January^ 
1828, by No. 4. 

The coke ovens being now in operation, and a large 
number of workmen employed, the demand for dwelling- 
houses became pressing, and the Company proceeded to 
build rows of houses .at Garnlwyd, and South Parade. 
Private persons also speculated in this direction, and the 
aspect of the place improved very rapidly. 

The end of 1828 saw the completion of the tramway and 
No. I blast furnace, and the manufacture of iron in large 
quantities proceeded briskly. In 1829, several more ccm 
levels were opened, and No. 2 furnace completed. 

The year 2830 was marked by still greater progress. 
The Company added considerably to its house property, and 
commenced to erect those houses which still remain the best 
and most substantial in the place, and quite worthy of the 


title of mansions. These were intended as residences for 
the various managers and agents. The following year also 
was one of great prosperity, and several new levels, patches, 
&C., were opened, and the tale of progress was uninterrupted 
through the years 1832 and 1833. In the later year, Mr. 
Wayne left, and was succeeded as manager by Mr. Bevan, 
who remained but a short time— being replaced in his turn 
by Mr. David Smith. Under this gentleman occurred the 
first ** strike '*— or the first oi those disastrous disputes 
between masters and men, that have since then been too 
freijuent. A misunderstanding arose in consequence of 
which the two blast furnaces were blown out, and the works 
placed at a stand-still. This unfortunate state oi things con- 
tinued for two months, and the men suffered great hardships. 
The dispute being settled, the works were restarted, amid 
general rejoicing. 

The year 1836 was a notable year, as being that in which 
the Maesteg Works received the order for the iron pillars to 
be used in the erection of the Bridgend Market-place, — an 
event which was considered to reflect great honour upon 
Maesteg. Matters continued to go on well ; and in 1840 
Mr. Charles Hampton took the management from Mr. 
Smith, and under his superintendence a third blast furnace 
was built, and started in 1844. A Mr. Breunton at the same 
time undertook the erection of this furnace as well as of the 
engine house. In 1846 a foundry was added, for the making 
of railway chairs, of which 700 to x,ooo were made daily. 

The Maesteg Works now took a prominent and honour- 
able place in the iron market, and the sphere of its operations 
was extended in various directions. The proprietors seem to 
have had an interest in the Margam Tinplate Works at 
Aberavon, and large quantities of the pig iron produced at 
Maesteg were transported to that place. A memorial of this 
connection still remains in the fact that the best brand of 
teme plates, which is manufactured at the Margam Tinplate 
Works, bears the mark Af .F., a distinguishing mark which 
had its origin at this time. The letters stand for Motley, 
Fussell, & Co. 

The Company was not so fortunate in another of its 
business connections, namely, that .with the South Wales 
Brewery at Neath. The bond between these two concerns 
appears to have been a very close one— most if not all the 
partners in the Maesteg Works having also a large stake in 
the breweiy. A series of misfortunes placed the Brewer}' 
Company in such difficulties, that its business came to a 
ttanchstill in the year 1847* and io its fall the Maesteg Works' 


suffered so severely, that it, too, was stopped, and remained 
idle for 4 years. This period is still remembered as one of 
unexampled poverty and privation to the workmen and their 

In 1851, however, Mr. Buckland, one of the proprietors, 
again came to take the management of affairs, and matters 
improved rapidly, and, in the year 1856, had in full operation 
three blast furnaces, 15 levels, and 8x coke ovens. From 
five to six hundred men were employed, and Mr. Buckland 
was assisted in the management by Messrs. Cadman, Grey 
(mineral agent^now of the Llwydarth Tinplate Works), and 
Morell (furnace manager). 

This was a period of great activit^r. Mr. Buckland, by 
his kindness of neart and earnest desire for the welfare of 
those employed by him, made himself greatly beloved. His 
name is even now remembered with affectionate respect. It 
was, therefore, a matter of universal regret that the prosperity 
of the Maeste^ Iron Works again gradually waned. 

After a while, however, the aspect of affairs again changed 
for the better. The works were acquired by Messrs. R. P. 
Lemon & Co., and were once more put into working order, 
continuing in operation for some time, with varying success, 
under the management of Mr. Sheppard, son-m-law of the 
principal partner. Too soon, however, the ill-fortune which 
has ever seemed to follow this concern overtook the enter- 
prising proprietors, and the Maesteg Works were again at a 
stand-still. After remaining idle for some time, they were 
sold by Mr. Freston, of Stroud, acting for the mortgagees, to 
the Llynfi, Tondu, & Ogmore Coal and Iron Co. This 
Company, during the bustle which characterised our staple 
industries in 1872-73, blew in one of the furnaces ; but the 
hopes that were aroused were soon disappointed, for after a 
very brief period of activity, the furnace was blown out, and 
has not again been lit. 

Thb Spelter Works and Cambrian Iron Co. 
These enterprises owe their origin to Mr. James H. Allen, 
a gentleman, who, after a long search, found at Coegnant, in 
the upper part of the valley, a spot suitable for the manu- 
facture of spelter. A piece of land, on which works were to 
be erected, was leased from Mr. Wm. Griffiths, the then 
owner of Coegnant, and, pending the building of the works, 
levels for coal were at once opened. The Spelter Works, 
when completed, consisted of four furnaces and a calciner, 
and by the middle of 1831, Mr, John Harman, being manager^ 
the manufacture of spelter was being actively pursued. 


Mr. Allen found in his neighbourhood such abundance of 
material suitable to his branch of manufacture that he 
became desirous of increasing his interest in the locality and 
extending his operations. He, therefore, leased Dyffryn from 
Mr. H. Lewis, and thereon opened the level smce called 
Dyffryn level, from which he raised large quantities of steam 
coal. In the year 1833 he erected three new furnaces and 
one calciner. In his selection of managers for his works, 
Mr. Allen seems to have been somewhat unfortunate, since 
from X830 to 1835 he employed and dismissed no fewer than 
seven, the last beinc Mr. Lewis Lewis. 

The year 1837 found Mr. Allen desirous of still further 
extensions to his plant. During his tenure of the Spelter 
Works, he had found the cost of carriage of material to and 
fro over the old tramway a serious item m his expenses, and, 
as he was now desirous to erect works that would consume 
and produce much larger quantities, he resolved to erect the 
new works some distance lower in the valley. His first diffi* 
culty was the formation of a Company, to furnish the 
necessary capital and share the risk. He placed himself in 
communication with some London capitalists, and they, 
perhaps feeling that his enthusiastic account of the mineral 
wealth of the valley was somewhat over-coloured, sent down 
an expert to inspect and report. This gentleman's report 
was favourable, and the Company was formed without 

The new company, under the style of the Cambrian Iron 
Co., bought the lease of Brynmawr farm, from Mr. John Evans, 
and took the following propertits:— Nant-y-ffylloH, they bought 
from Edward Thomas ; the Garu Wen, from Lord Adare; and 
Tygwyn-hackt from Mr. Popkin Traharne. The new works 
were commenced in 1837, under the supervision of Mr. Cooper. 
August, 1838, saw the ground excavated for the blast 
furnaces. Mr. Breunton undertook the charge of their 
erection, and the first of them was completed and blown 
in amid great rejoicings October X2th, 1839. In 1841, 
Mr. Cooper left, and was succeeded as manager by 
Mr. Petherick. May of the same year saw the second 
furnace at work, and several other buildings completed. 
In this year, also, Mr. William David, whose name is 
well-known and higlily honoured even now, came to 
take the management of all the collieries. In 1843, Mr* 
Charles Bowring succeeded Mr. Petherick as manager of the 

The forge was next added^the foundation being laid 
June X7th, i845,-»and the work so rapidly proceeded with. 


that the forge was at work by February the loth of the 
following year. Mr. Jones was the forge manager. About 
this time too the Company erected 80 workmen's houses 
at Nant-y-fiyllon,— and started Mill No. i,— which was 
followed in April, 2847, by Mill No. 2. 

Mr. Charles Bowring became salesman for the Company 
in 1848, and removed to Liverpool, resigning the manage- 
ment to Mr. Charles Hampton. In 1849 was started the 
guide mill, and 1850 a third blast furnace was ht. The next 
addition was the slit mill, in 1851, a year also marked by the 
resignation of Mr. Jones as forffe manager, and the accession 
of Mr. Richard Evans to take his place. 

In the year 1852 were laid the foundations of a rail mill. 
In this year there occurred a strike, which lasted 13 weeks, 
and compelled the Company to blow out two of the three blast 
furnaces. In 1855, the new rail mill was ready for work, 
and was considered to be one of the most effective and 
powerful in England. 

These were the halcyon days of the concern. Four blast 
furnaces were in full work, together with about 30 puddling 
furnaces, 2 squeezers, 2 pairs of muck rolls, and 4 mills«-the 
whole being supplied with motive power by xo engines. 

About 1x0 coke ovens supplied fuel, over xoo horses were 
employed at the works, and about X500 workmen earned ia 
the iron works and collieries a comfortable subsistence. 
The company at this time was undoubtedly a strong one, 
numbering among its members Col. Cavan, Messrs. McGregor^ 
Metcalfe, and others, whose names have become household 
words at Maesteg. The Company at this time was known 
as the Llynfi Vale Iron Co. Messrs. Metcalfe and Hampton 
divided between them the duties of General Managers ^ 
Mr. J. P. Roe, C.E, and Mr. D. Grey, those of Mming 

After some time the composition of the proprietary 
company was changed, as was also its name. It now 
became the Llynfi Vale Coal and Iron Co. Mr. Hubbuck 
was appointed General Manager, and Mr. T. Thomas, 
Mechanical Engineer, while Mr. urey retained his position as 
Mining Engineer. It was under the management thus consti- 
tuted that the Llynfi Company reached its most prosperous 
condition. The brands of iron made here were in high 
esteem in the market, and could command ready sales and 
good prices. Modern and improved appliances were erected, 
and no effort or expense was spared to keep the works in the 
highest state of efficiency. Soon, however, disagreements arose 
between the Chairman, Mr. Moffat, and Mr. Hubbuck, which 



led to the latter's resignation of the management. There- 
upon, Mr. Moffat himself undertook the superintendence of 
the works, which event was soon followed by the departure 
from the Company's service of Mr. Grey, in 1869. 

Here it would be well to digress, and allude to the fact 
that the truck system, which had prevailed here for many 
years, in its most oppressive form, was abolished in x868. 
Previous to that time, the Company's shop was no un- 
important or unprofitable branch of the concern ; a large staff 
was kept, and employes and their families were compelled 
to rest satisfied with such goods, in the way of grocery, ' 
drapery, and almost all other necessaries, as the Company 
•choose to supply them with. Ready money, as recompense 
for labour, was rarely paid except tn smaU sums, — and, as 
was natural, high prices were the order of the day. The 
abolition of this unjust and now illegal system was a subject 
of general rejoicing, and the beneficial results of the change 
were soon apparent in the number of new shops, with the 
consequence of healthy competition that were soon opened 
in Maesteg. 

In the present state of things, it is not surprising that old 
inhabitants, workmen and others, look back upon the years 
gone by, and contrast their present freedom with the 
oppression that then prevailed. 

Subsequently, Mr. Colquhoun became General Manager 
under Mr. Moitat, and the concern seemed for a time in a 
most prosperous condition. However, in 1872, a limited 
Company with large capital was formed to carry on these 
works, as well as those at Tondu and the Ogmore Valley. 
The title of the Company was, ** The Liynfi, Tondu, and 
Ogmore Coal and Iron Co., Limited," Mr. Alex. Brogden, 
M.P., being Chairman, and Mr. Henry Brogden, Managing 
Director, while Mr. George Morley was employed as 
General Manager at Maesteg, and Mr. James Barrow as 
Mining Engineer. For a year or two, during the *' flush 
time " which just then had began to dawn, the success of 
the Company seemed certain. A great strike of colliers, 
which agitatad the whole of South Wales in 1873, ^^^ ^^^^ 
ended, by the generous action of Mr. Alex. Brogden, who 
severed his connection with the Colliery Owners' Association 
(paying a heavy penalty for so doing), — and granted the 
demands of the men. 

Too soon, however, the coal and iron markets experienced 
a reverse. Things at Maesteg looked more and more gloomy, 
until at last the Company went into liquidation. Tne 
•concern was lor a time earned on by J. J. Smith, Esq*, the 


liquidator appointed by the Court of Chancery; Mr. W» 
Blakemore being General Manager* Ultimately a new 
Company was formed, which, under the style of the Llynfi 
and Tondu Coal and Iron Co., carried on the works for some 
time. For a while things seemed somewhat promising-»a 
new Colliery at Coegnant being opened and looked upon aa 
certain of success, and likely to ensure a practically un- 
limited supply of excellent coau for many years. 

Meanwhile, however, the depression in the iron trade 
continued and increased to so great an extent, that the 
manufacture of iron seems to have become a thing of 
the past. This, a calamity to the whole country, became 
a heavier calamity in a neighbourhood like this, where 
so large a proportion of the inhabitants lived by the wages 
earned in the Iron Works. Early in 1886, the Company 's- 
Iron Works at Maesteg came to a total stop, and up to the 
time of writing (August, 1886), there are no signs of their 

Ty-chwyth and Cab-cwarbl. 

These places were taken about the year 1846, by 
Sir Robert Price, of Tondu ; chiefly to supply iron ore for 
his furnaces at Tondu. Ore was also obtained bv Sir 
Robert, at Bryudefaid, — which was conveyed by mules to 
the old weigh-house at Llwyndyrus — hence to Tondu by the 
old tramroad. 

In the year 1853, ^^^ Tondu works passed into the hands 
of Messrs. J. Brogden and Sons, who, in 1863, secured a 
new lease of Cae-cwarel and Ty-chwyth, and at once pro- 
ceeded to raise large quantities of coal. In 1864, Mr. James 
Barrow became manager for them, succeeding a Mr. Cooper. 
Mr. Barrow acted in this capacity till the Messrs. Brogdens left 
the valley in 1878— the Ty-chwyth property having, in the 
meantime, become amalgamated under the Llynfi, Tondu, 
and Ogmore Coal and Iron Co., which was formed under the 
auspices of the Messrs. Brogdens. It is, perhaps, worthy of 
remark that when Mr. Barrow became manager of Tychwyth 
there were always from ten to a dozen women employed 
underground, chiefly at the pumps and filling of coal. 

Garth, Cwmdu, &c. 

These lands, from which in after years so large a harvest 
of mineral wealth has been taken, were first leased with a 
view to underground working, by Mr. Samuel Cox. This 
gentleman spent a large sum in mining operations at Coedy- 
garth and Llwydarth, but met with little success, coming 


ultimately to the conclusion that the sought-for minerals 
were not existent in any quantity in those neighbourhoods. 
This did not prevent his selling his interest to a Mr. Tones* of 
Taibach, who, in his turn, sold them to Messrs. Malins and 
Rawlinson, proprietors of Cefn Cribwr Works. These gentle- 
men intended raising here coal and ironstone for the supply of 
Iheir works at Cefn. In the year 1846, they concluded to 
erect three blast furnaces on the spot, which work was rapidly 
pushed forward. Two of the furnaces, and about 30 coke 
ovens, were in active operation, when very suddenly the firm 
collapsed, and their works were stopped, apparently 
for ever. About the year 1856, the adjacent lands of Cwmdu 
and Ffos were leased by Messrs. Sheppard and Matthews, 
who opened a level at Blaen Cwmdu, and built a blast 
furnace at Ffos. The furnace worked for only a few months, 
when the Company fell into difficulties. Mr. Sheppard dis- 
posed of his interest to a gentleman named Edwards, who 
subsequently transferred the concern to Messrs. R. P. Lemon 
■& Co. This firm, in its turn, fell upon evil times, and was 
ultimately ejected by the landlords, who took possession of 
the works, and disposed of them by auction. The engines 
were, it appears, purchased by the owners of some works at 

In the year 1863, Messrs. J. Brogden & Sons took up a 
lease of Blaen Cwmdu and Ffos. Coal and iron in large 
quantities were raised, and a railway constructed from 
Cwmdu to Garth. About the year 1864, Messrs. Brogden 
added to their taking the lands of Garth, Garth Fach, and 
Cwmdu Canol, and proceeded to sink Garth Pit, and to erect 
a large number of- coke ovens. Mr. James Barrow exercised 
able and careful supervision over the sinking operations. The 
year 1867 was notable for a violent explosion which took 
place at Garth Pit, causing great consternation in the neigh- 
bourhood. Fortunately, the explosion took place when the 
workmen were' all absent from their work, and no lives were 
lost ; but the coal took fire, and burned with such violence 
that the works had to be flooded, and the pit to stand idle for 
nearly a year. When it was again cleared, work was re- 
commenced, and continued briskly until the year 1877, the 
daily output amounting to nearly 350 tons. By that time, 
however, the staple trades of the district were in so bad a con- 
dition that, on a dispute arising between the then owners of 
the pit— the Llynfi, Tondu^ and Ogmore Co.,— and their work- 
men, it was judged expedient to close the works. The stop- 
page was keenly felt in the neighbourhood, and much distress 
resulted, so that the news that a new Company has re- 


centlv been formed to re-open Garth Pit has been hailed 
by all with much satisfaction. 


About the year 1864, W. Davies, Esq., of Bryn Haulog, 
Bridgend, purchased a small pit which had long previously 
been sunk by Mr. Charles Sheppard. He also acquired the 
lease of the minerals under Llwydarth Farm, and the lease 
of surface and minerals underlying Maesteg Isaf Farm — the 
property of Colonel Turberville, 0? Ewenny Abbey. Sinking 
operations were commenced, and in 1868 a large colliery was 
opened, under the name of the Maesteg Merthyr Colliery, or, 
as it is locally called, Oakwood. On January nth, xSpra, 
this colliery was the scene of the most disastrous explosion 
which has occurred here of late years, when eleven poor 
fellows lost their lives. 

The colliery is fitted with costly and powerful machinery 
for ventilation and raising of coal, most noticeable being the 
large ventilating fan (Waddle's patent), which has a diameter 
of 40 feet. 

At present, the colliery is owned by Messrs. T.' Roberts 
&, Jones, and is managed by Mr. Jenkin Evans, M.E. The 
average output is 300 tons daily, and employment is given to 
about 250 men. The proprietors have latterly been very 
fortunate in arriving at a large tract of coal of excellent 
quality, and there is every prospect that the colliery will 
a£Ford employment to the workmen and profit to the owners 
for many years to come. 

Llwydarth Tinplatb Works. 

These works, which are now as well appointed and pros* 
perous as any in the valley, are the property of a Company, 
the principal members of which are old and respectable 
inhabitants of Maesteg, where they are universally respected 
for their uprightness and integrity, as well as for the energy 
and enterprise which have placed a comfortable livelihood 
within the reach of hundreds of respectable artizans. 

The erection of the works was commenced in 1869, and 
pushed forward very rapidly, under the supervision of two of 
the proprietors, Messrs. D. Grey and Thomas Thomas. At 
first there were built one black plate rolling mill with cold 
rolls, and three tinning sets ; and in 1871 another black 
plate mill with cold rolls and tinning sets were 
added, to be supplemented still further in 1872-^ by the 
addition of a third rolling mill. In 1874 ^^^ ^"^^ ^ l^rge 
forge for the manufacture of bar iron, the machinery of which 


embodied the most recent improvements for the utilising of 
heat and the economising ot materials. In 1876, another 
rolling mill, with tinning sets, was added; and in 1878, a fifth 
roUing mill, with necessary appurtenances. 

The works, which now rank with the largest in the Princi- 
pality, consist of a forge, with twelve p'.iddling and four 
balling furnaces, two ponderous steam hammers, six rolling 
mills of the most improved construction and modern design, 
tinning department, containing thirteen of the patent tinning 
pots, capable of containing many tons of tin in a liquid « 
state. The annealing and cold rolls departments are also 
models of compactness and efficiency. In a word, the whole 
concern bears the impress of the shrewdness and energy of a 
Firm quick enongh to perceive and adopt every improvement, 
and ever studiously observant of the requirements of their 

The Llwydarth Tinplate Co.*s Works in this Parish, 
apart from their other works at Caerleon, now afford employ- 
ment to about 500 hands, who receive in wages over jf 2 1,000 
annually ; turning out, in the same time, more than 100,000 
boxes of tinplates. In addition to the manufacture of tin and 
temeplates, a novel industry has been commenced at these 
works, consisting of the manufacture of polished sheet iron or 
steel, hitherto exclusively manufactured in Russia, where the 
process is kept remarkably secret. By a process, patented by 
this Company, sheet iron or steel is produced with a pecu- 
liarly beautiful and polished surface, which is unattacked by 
rust. Manv efforts nave been made, by persons desirous of 
obtaining the knowledge, to ^et at the Russian process of 
manufacture, but unsuccessfully. Whether the process at 
the Llwydarth Works is the same as in Russia, it is not 
possible to say ; but the product at the Llwydarth Works is 
found, under chemical and atmospheric tests, to stand and 
hold its own alongside the Russian. The American States 
and Canada are large consumers of the article for making 
stores, and it is contemplated by this Comi)any to lay out 
plant for extending this new and exclusive industry. 

Llvnfi and Ogmorb Railway. 

This railway has been in operation since August, 
x86i. Previous to this, the only mode of communication 
with the outer world was by means of the old tramway 
which ran to Porthcawl, a branch of which ran to 
Bridgend. Speculative folks were in the habit of running 
over this tramway with their own trams and teams, and con- 
veying goods and passengers. As might be expected, the 



journey to and from Bridgend at that time took many hours^ 
and the rates of carriage for goods, &c., were very high. 
The L. & O. Railway Company, when formed, had to buy 
up the old tramway from the Llynfi Company, and even now 
annually asserts its right to what is at this time the principal 
thoroughfare of the town of Maesteg, but which was formerly , 
the site of the tram road. 

With the growth and increasing prosperity and popula- . 
tion of the neighbourhood, the traffic on the railway has been . 
largely augmented, esi>ecially in the mineral and goods, 
department. At the time when trains began to run, the 
only railway stations in the Parish were those at Llan- 
gynwyd (near Llwyndyrus), and that at Maesteg. Some 
years ago, however, consequent upon the increase of the 
district lying round the Llwydarth Tin plate Works, and the 
Garth Pit, the Company opened a station at Troedrhiw Garths 
near the bridge known as ** Pont-Tinker *' (or, more properly, 
Tincerdd). Later, the Company extended its lines in the 
upper part of the Parish, and effected a junction with the 
South Wales Mineral Railway at Cymer — ^where a handsome 
viaduct was built. The terminus of the line was thus 
removed to Cym^.r, where a neat station was built, together 
with one at Ty-chwyth, near the colliery so called. 

The wisdom of this enterprise on the part of the Company 
is now apparent, as a new railway is in course of construction 
between the Rhondda Valley and Swansea, joins the Llynfi 
Valley Railway at Cymer, and thus throws open the important 
seaports of Port Talbot, Neath, Swansea, Llanelly, and Mil- 
ford, to the produce of this rich mineral district, without the 
necessity ot following the tedious and circuitous route vid 

An agreement between the L. & O. Railway Company 
and the Great Western came into effect on the ist July, 
1873, and was amended subsequently by an agreement dated 
29th June, 1876, and the traffic is now carried on under the 
terms of those agreements. The terms may be shortly stated 
as follows:— The Great Western shall, in perpetuity, work 
and manage the undertaking of the Llynh and Ogmore, and 
pay to the Llynfi and Ogmore, out of the gross receipts for 
each year for the joint traffic of the two Companies, such an 
amount as will be sufficient to pay,— ist. Interest for the year 
on the existing preference capital of the Company, and on 
their loan capital authorised by Acts of former Sessions, and 
a dividend at the rate of 6 per cent, per annum on the Llynfi 
and the Ogmore ordinary stocks, and. All interests^ on 
future loan capital, and such dividend on future share capital 


as will command it at par, and certain rent charges. 3rd. 
A sum equal to the amcunt by which the excess in the gross 
receipts of the Llynfi undertaking for the year over those of 
1872, surpasses the aggregate of the secondly mentioned pay- 
ments, and the Government duty on passengers, and a 
defined amount of the working expenses of earning such 
excess gross receipts ; the thirdly mentioned payments to be 
distributed pro raid as further dividend between the holders 
of the Llynii and the Ogmore ordinary stocks and the holders 
of the future share capital. All these payments are made 
half-yearly, except the third, which will be made yearly. 

Since the above was written, a further development of 
railway enterprise has taken place in the neighbourhood, and 
a branch railway has been opened to Aber^ynfi. This 
place, formerly a bare and bleak mountain- side, is now the 
site of a flourishing mining village, which has sprung up 
around two collieries, one the property of the Avon Hill 
Colliery Co.f and the other a fine pit, opened by the G. W. 
Railway Co. 

Talfedw Mill. 

The above mill was situated about three quarters of a 
mile south of Llangynwyd Village, and in good form till 
about forty years ago, when the proprietor, Mr. John Joseph 
(in consequence of the loss he sustained by the stoppage of the 
Maesteg Works and the failure of the Neath Brewery Co.), 
destroyed it, to the detriment of the neighbouring farmers. 
The onlv mill at present within the parish is that of Pontrkyd* 
ytyff; the old mill at Gtlly^ and the other at MaesUg Isaf^ 
have, for roaify years, been idle. 

Soon after the departure of Mr. Joseph, from Talfedw, 
the premises were taken by a gentleman by the name oif 
Mr. Marriot, who transformed them into a brewery, and 
subsequently they were made into a Chemical Works, by 
Mr. Wm. iJewis, of Neath. This enterprise again proved a 
iailure owing to the inconvenience of the place, and its distance 
from the Railway, after expending a good sum of money in 
fitting up the works, and putting them in working order. After' 
this, the place stood idle for several years, and when the 
Llwydarth Tin Plate Co. commenced the erection of their 
works, they were obliged to come to terms, for their supply 
of water, with Mr. John Jones, who held the Cwmfelin 


Woollen Factory, Mr. Tones therefore gave up the last 
named establishment, ana removed his plants to Ttdf$dw^ 
where he has successfully carried on busmess, employing a 
ffood number of hands* The place since Mr. Jones leased it 
urom the present owner, Miss Joseph, of Pencoed, is known 
as the Gadlys Woollen Factory. 


The Chair of Tir ImrlU— By whom ettabliihed.— Rulei uid euttomt of 
th« Chair.— Held under the sanction of the Lordihip of Glamorgan.— 
How degrees were conferred.— A Chair of Assembly.— Places of 
Assembly.— Farther notice of the Chair.— Length of time it flonrished. 
—List of Bardic Succession.— From a.d. 1300 to 1760.— Date of last 
memorable meetings.— Pedigree of Madoc Vychan, Steward of Tir 
larU.— Specimens of their poetry. 

fHE bardic Chair of the Lordship of *• Tir larll " was 
one of the peculiar institutions of the Lordship. There 
is an account of the founding of this Chair, as well as 
of the rules and customs which surrounded it, given in the 
lolo MSS., which shall be here transcribed :— 

'* The Chair of * Tir larll ' was established bv Morgan, 
Lord of Aberavan, instead of Arthur's in Caerlleon upon 
Usk. After that, the last Earl of Clare but one granted to 
it an endowment of plough land in Bettws. Llang^^nwyd, 
and Llangeinor ; and also the right of grazing for the six 
summer months from the first of May, to the first of 
November, and thus the Chair was removed from its station 
in Llanfihangel A van to 'Tir larll,' where it was held alter- 
nately at the Church of Bettws, and that of Llangynwyd, 
and therefore was called the ' Chair of Tir larll.' And many 
poets and talented composers belonged to the Chair, wha 
had been either born or reared within its privileged precincts, 
and there matriculated. The Chair of 'Tir larll* was 
most frequently held on the greensward of Bettws, the 
mound of Crug . y Diwlith, and the Green of Baiden. 
The Chair of 'Tir larll ' was established under the protection 
of Gilbert Clare, Prince of Glamorgan, and he renewed the 
privileges to the Bards and Poets of Wales as they had 
existed in former ages for the acquiring of learning and 
profitable knowledge and sciences, and these are the rights 
and customs: — 

" The Chair of Tir larll is held under the sanction of the 
Lordship of Glamorgan on each of the principal festivals 
without litigation and unmolested, by proclamation and 
notice of a year and a day, for the purpose of transacting 
such business as may be brought before it, and no opposition 


to its authority is allowed. And the protection of the Lord 
of the district is afforded to every Bard and Minstrel, who 
shall according to rule and order appear before it, j>rovided 
he shall be found proficient in the nine rules of versification 
and its appurtenances, according to the regulations of the 
Bards and Minstrels of Wales. And it must be held in the 
sight and hearing of the country and the chieftains, and in 
the face of the sun and the eye ot light, and under the protec- 
tion of God and his peace. 

** A Bard certified as a proficient in the knowledge and 
sciences of versification and its appurtenances ought to take 
to him pupils for instruction in learning and books, and the 
conventional knowledge of the Ancient Bards of the Cymry ; 
namely, no less than three pupils at the same time on 
account of the three degrees conferred upon the students of 
versification ; namely, one at the same time of each of the 
three degrees ; and the degrees are conferred in the following 
manner :— 

** X. — The unaccomplished disciple is one who is not 
acquainted with the art of versification, inasmuch as 
he will continue to be under instruction until he is 
acquainted with the Welsh language as regards its con- 
struction, its derivation, the force of its words, and expres- 
sions ; to understand it in its reading, and orthography with 
respect to lettering and syllables correctly and truly. Also 
he ought to understand the chief points of the metres, 
namely, the measures, the rhymes, the initial repetitions, the 
feet, the alliterations, in accordance with the conventional - 
rules of Chair and Gorsedd ; and their due application and 
arrangement according to name, class, and signification, and 
exhibit them in his own certified work. After he has thus 
exhibited them to his teacher, and obtained his word for him 
before the Chair, he may be graduated as a proficient in 
versification, and that upon his conscience ; or in default of 
the teacher bein^ present, by a written ceitificate under his 
hands he may without regard to opposition upon word and 
upon conscience, be instituted a proficient in versification, 
together with the requisite knowledge and appurtenances 
under the sanction of instruction and preception. 

'* 2.— A progressing pupil is one who is acquainted with 
all that is required 01 the preceding, and before he is 
advanced to a higher degree, he must learn and acquire 
every characteristic and qualitv of verse and stanza per- 
fectly, belonging to the Welsh language, and exhibit them 
of his own composition, certified upon the word and con« 
science of his own teacher, and he shall be entitled to be 


graduated as a proficient in ▼ersification and its appur- 
tenances. Also, he ought to understand every particular 
respecting the Welsh language, and the art of versification 
and the privileges and established customs of the Bards and 
Minstrels, and of the Chairs and ceremonies of institution. 
Likewise he must understand the order and arrangement of 
the genealogical table and descent of the race of the Cymry, 
together with their rights and usages, certified bv record, 
and annal, and archive, and Chair. And his privilege shall 
be confirmed by the order of his preceptor. And when he 
cannot be present, then there shall be a written certificate* 
under his hand, and that certificate is call^ the gift of 

** 3. — A pupil of right is he called who knows all the 
departments and rules of versification and its appurtenances, 
correctly and decidedly, according to the regulations of the 
Chair, and he shall no longer stand by the word and cer- 
tificate of a preceptor, but in t'x^ht of his own knowledge 
and genius ; and he shall found his claim and right upon the 
judgment of the Chair and Gorsedd ; and in this, the consent 
of the country by proclamation and notice of a year and a day 
shall not be requisite. He shall also be privileged to engage 
in poetical disputation ; and after he shall have gained three 
Chairs, he shall be presented with the privileges and rights of 
a Chief of Song, which is to be a Chaired Bard ; and he shall 
be called Preceptor, and shall take to him pupils, namelyr 
one at the same time in each of the three degrees. 

*< A Chair of Assembly is the name given to that of a 
Gorsedd, held by certificate of original institution, under the 
judgment of country and race. The place of assembly may 
be in any open ground whilst the sun is upon the sky, and it 
is called the Gransward of Song; and it shall be upon the 
grassy face of the earth, and chairs shall be placed there, 
namely, stones ; and when stones cannot be obtained, then, 
in the stead, turfs ; and the Chair of Assembly shall be in the 
middle of the Gorsedd. 

** Also, every place of worship, and every precinct of a 
Church, shall be a place for a Bardic Assembly, and, likewise, 
every Civil and Manorial Court, namely, the Courts of 
Justice and Law; also, every spot, whether of open or 
enclosed pasture, which is green sward ; or domestic hall, and 
such hall shall possess confirmed privileges. After it has 
been placed before the country for attendance for a year and 
a day until the end of three 3rears, free of access, for atten- 
dance and audience of the people assembling at Court and in 
every lawful Church, and assembly as it is in fair and market* 


** At every Gorsedd of the Chair of Assembly, there should 
be published the Instructions of the Bards of the Island of 
Britain ; that is to say, the records of knowledge and 
sciences, and of the arrangements, and rules, and privileges* 
and customs of the bards. Also, the publication should be 
made of the ancient records of Mabon, the son of Medron ; 
that is to say, the names and memorials of the bards, poets, 
learned men, and sages of the Island ol Britain, of the race of 
the Gymrv, and of whatever they were eminent for, of noble 
and worthy acts ; and of the kings of the Island of Britain, 
and their honourable actions, together with the times in which 
they lived, and their pedigrees and descent. 

*< With regard to bards and poets at the Gorsedd meetings* 
they should not be molested by litigation or obstruction ; but 
be left in quietness, and be supported under the protection of 
God and of his peace, with every power and counsel, and 
every means of people and chieftains, 

*< After rehearsing the Instructions and Records, the ex- 
hibitioners shall be called for. Then any bard who has 
anything which he wishes to exhibit shall exhibit it to the 
Chair, whether it be poetry, or genealogical roll, or record of 
honourable achievements, or improvement in knowledge or 
science. After the exhibitions, hearing shall be given to 
such claims and appeals as shall be brought forward. And, 
after that, dialogues and Chair disputations concerning poetry 
and its appurtenances, and afterwards they shall proceed to 
hold a council of judgment upon the merits of what has been 
brought before the Chair and Gorsedd ; and then shall 
publication be made of the decision and judgment, and the 
presents shall be made. Then the public worship and, after 
that, the banquet and conferring ot honours ; then shall all 
depart to their houses, and every one to his own residence.'*—* 
lolo MSS. 

Subjoined is some further historical account of the Chair, 
transcribed from the Rev. J. Williams' (Ab Ithel) preface to 
** Barddas," Vol. I., a collection of ancient documents pub« 
lished by the Welsh MSS. Society, and made from the MSS« 
of lolo Morganwg at Llanover. 

<*Upon the death of Arthur, the Chair of the Round 
Table was removed to the Court of Urien Rheged. at Aber« 
llychwr, where it went sometimes by the name of Taliesin's 
Chair, and sometimes by that of the Chair of Baptism.** 
Under the privilege of the institute of the Round Table, . 
Gildas, the prophet, and Cattwg the Wise, from Llancarfan, 
were bards, and also Llywarch the Aged, son of Elidyr 


Lydanwyn, Ystudfach, the bard, and Ystyfian, the bard of 

It remained at Aberllychwr about two hundred years; 
after that it was transferred to Caerwynt,t where it con- 
tinued for more than a hundred years. 

It was then removed to Maes Mawr| by Einon, the son 
of Collwyn, and, afterwards, by lestvn, the son of Gwrgant, 
to the Court of Caerleon-upon-Usk, which was held at 
Cardiff Castle. Here it was shortly disturbed, owing to the 
war that broke out between lestyn and Rhys, the son of 
Tewdwr ; nor was it again restored until the time of Roberli. 
Earl of Gloucester, grandson of the latter, who endowed this 
Chair with privilege and maintenance in Maes Mawr in Mor- 
ganwg, and gave the name of Tir larll or the Earl's land to 
the portion which he conferred upon the bards for their 
maintenance, whilst he gave the other portion for the main- 
tenance of the Monks. The Chair of Tir larll was enjoined 
to investigate the ancient sciences of bardism, and after the 
search, recovery, and confirmation, the primitive Chair, 
Gorsedd, sciences, privileges, and usages of the bards of the 
Isle of Britain, were restored thoroughly and altogether. § 

Geraiut, the Blue Bard, had, in the beginning of the 
tenth century, established a Chair at Llandaff, different to 
the one of the Round Table. It afterwards went by the 
name of Cadair Morgan wg, and embraced that of Tir larll, 
being itself included in the Gorsedd oi the bards of the Isle 
of Britain. 

This Chair, whether we call it the Chair of Tir larll or 
the Chair of Morganwg, was well protected as long as the 
lords of Glamorgan retained sovereign authority over that 
territory, and the rights and immunities of the bards were 
renewed from time to time, but always on condition that they 
should investigate and preserve the sciences of bardism. 

Llewelyn, the son of GrufTydd, was slain Dec. ixth, 1282, 
and with him fell the independence of Cymru, which thence- 
forth became subject to the Kings of England. In conse- 
quence of the opposition which the bards offered to the claim 
of Edward, they were rigorously persecuted by that 
monarch, and, of course, were prevented from meeting 
publicly in •« Gorsedd." Neither did they any longer enjoy 
the tfwyddedt or maintenance, which had been conferred upon 
them by their own native princes. Nevertheless, they kept 

* Dotbarth y Ford Gron. f The VtnU Silurum of the Romans. 
} The name hy which this nelghbott/hood wai known previoni to its 
bdng called Uangynwyd. 

f S6epreiaceto**CyfrinachyBeifdd.** 


up the old system, and from a.d. 2300, at least, down to lolo 
Morganwg's time, they managed to hold a ** Gorsedd " oc- 
casionally for Morffanwg, as the following "Bardic Suc- 
cession,'* or list of the Bards of the Chair of Glamorgan, will 
show, and the order in which they were the awmyddioHt or 
disciples, taken from a manuscript of the late John Bradford, 
of Bettws. The dates denote the time when tliey presided :<— 

Trahaem Brydydd Mawr 1300 

HywelBwaoach ... • ••• 1330 

Dafydd Ab Gwilym m* 1360 

Iraaa Had ••• ... ••• • . ..• — liT^ 

His Awnydddhn: 

Gwilym ab leuan Km, 
leoan Tew Hen. 
Hywel Swrdwal. 

lottaa Tew Heo •^ 1410 


Hywel Swrdwal. 

leuan ab Hywel Swrdwal. 

leuan Gethin ab I. ab Ueiaaon. 

leaan Getbin ab I. ab Lleision • ... 1430 

Gwilym Tew, or G. Hendon. 

Gwilym Tew 1460 

Awenyddion : 

Httw Cae Llwyd. 
Hywel ab Dav. ab I. ab Rbyt* 
Harri o'r Garreg Lwyd. 
lorwerth Vyoglwyd. 

Meredith ab Rhotser 1470 


lorwerth Vynglwyd. 
leuan Deulwyn. 
Syr Einion ab Owain. 

lenan Deulwyn •• 1480 

Awenyddion : 

lorwerth Vynglwyd. 
Lewyt Morganwg. 
Harri Hir. 

lorwerth Vynglwyd • 1500 


Lewyt Moiiganwg. 
leuan Du'r Bilwg. 


\jfmy% jfof^SBwi^ ••• • • ••• ••• ••• 15^0 

Meio'g Dafydd. 
Dafydd Benwyn* 
Llewelyn Sion o Laofewydd. 
TlioiDM Llewelyn o'r Regoet. 

Veifyf Dafydd (died in 1600) 1560 


Watkin Pywd 

Dnfydd Denwyn ••• .•• ••• ••• ••• 1500 


Llewelyn Sion. 
Sion Mawddwy. 
Dafydd Uwyd If athew. 

Edward Da^rdd (died in 1690) ... ••• ••• y66o 

, Awtnyddicn: 

Hywel Lewyt. 

Charles Brittwn. 

Thomas Roberts (Offeiriad). 

S. Jooes. o Vryo Llwarch (Ofleiriad). . 

Evan Sion ^feredyth. 

Dafydd o'r Nant. 

Dafydd o*r Nant • t68o 


Hopkin y Gwehydd. 
Thomas Roberts (Offeiriad). 
IDafydd Hopkin o'r Coetty. 

*Samvd Jooes (Offeiriad) 1700 


Rhys Prys, Ty'n y Ton. 

WUliam Hain. 

Sion Bradford, yn blentyn* 

Da^fdd Hopkin o'r Coetty • 1730 

AwenyddUmx '"."^ 

Dafydd Thomas. 

Rhys Morgan. Pencraig Nedd. 

Dafydd Nicholas. 

Sion Bradford. 

fiiott Bradford (died 1 78o) 17^ 


Lewys Hopkin. 
William Hopkin. 
Edward Evan. 
Edward Williams^ 

*Tbe date given as that in which the Rev. S» Jones presided ia 
iaoonict, for according to the Parish Register he died in the year 1697. 


However, as their meetings were not always regular, and 
as the number of members was continually dwindling, there 
was danger that the traditions of the institution would suffer 
in consequence. Hence such of the Bards as were 
anxious for their preservation, began, more than before, to 
make collections of them in books. We say more than 
before, because some few, like Geraint the Blue Bard, had 
previously committed to writing many things concerning the 
Bards and their system. With a view to consolidate those 
collections, several Gorsedds were held from the beginning 
of the fifteenth century, under the sanction of Sir Richard 
Neville, and others. One was held for that purpose in 1570, 
under the auspices of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke* 
the great patron of Welsh literature, and the founder of the 
celebrated library of Welsh MSS. at Raglan Castle, which 
was afterwards destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. What was 
done at those meetings received considerable improvement 
at one held by Sir Edward Lewis of the Van, about 1580^ 
from the arrangement of the venerable Llewelyn Sion of 
Llangewydd ; and lastly, a complete revisal of the former 
collections was made by Edward Davvdd, of Margam, which 
received the sanction of a Gorsedd, neld at Bewpre^ in the 
year i68z, under the authority of Sir Richard Bassett ; when 
that collection was pronounced to be in every respect the 
fullest illustration of Bardism.* Part of the said collection 
was published in 1829, by Ap lolo, from the original, by 
lolo Morganwg, and was called ** Cyfrinach y Beirdd.'' 

Pedicrbb op Madoc Vychan, Steward op Tir Iarlu - 

L— Madoc Vychan, of Nant Dulaisf in Llangynwyd, 
steward of Tir larll, father of (i) Jenkin, (a) Griffith. 

IL— Jenkin ab Madoc, father of i, William, 2, Howell 
(base), 3, Rees (base), father of David, father of Griffith, who 
married Cathenne, daughter of John David ab William, of 
Cefn Saeson, and had iHewelyn, who married a daughter of 
William Caxton, of Neath, and had William, Wenllian, and 

HL— William ab Jenkin, married a daughter of— — 
Stradling, and had 

IV.— David ab William, married a daughter of Evan ab 
Lvson, ab Rees,ab Morgan Vychan. They had (z) Thomas* 
(2) Howell, whence a cadet branch. 

• See W. Owen's Barditm, prefixed to hit Elegies of Llpvurch Hen. 
t Cannot be traced. 


v.— Thoirtas— married—— 

VI.— David ab Thomas, father of (i) Howell, (a) Reea, 
father of David, who married Gwladys, daughter of Llewelp 
ab David Uiaf, of Nant-y-claes, and had Llewelyn, wno 
married Tangiws, daughter of David ab leuan Vwya^ of 

VIL^Howell ab David, married a daughter of Evan 
Blaena, of Llangynwyd, by Wenllian Jenkins, of Glyn*nedd, 
they had (i) David, (a) Howell. 

VIIL— David ab Howell, father of (i) Thomas, (a) David* 
(3) David ab Howell, father of Thomas, father of (xi) 
Margaret, daughter and heiress, who married Morgan ab 
leuan ab Howell ab Evan Blaena, of Llang3mwyd. 

IX. Thomas ab David, married ist, Isabel, daughter of 

ienkin ab Richard, of Brigam, by — , daughter of Phillip 
Fleming ; and, a daughter of Thomas John ab Watkin. 
Bv Isabel he had (i) John, (a) William Lloyd, alias Powell^ 
of Bristol, who had (a) Bichard, of Bristol, (h) a daughter 
married — ^Taylor, of Bristol, (e ) a daughter, who was the 
first wife of Lyson ab Evan David, of Neath (by Lucy, 
daughter and coheiress of Morgan Gwyn ab John ab Griffith 
Gwyn ab Howell Melyn, of Upper Gower), and had Dr. 
Thomas Lyson, a celebrated Bath physician who was living 
in 1603. (3) Richard, married Maud, daughter of Richard 
Llewelyn, of Sker, hy a daughter of Thomas ab Evan David, 
of Pencoed. She died s.p. By second wife he (Richard) 
had William Powell, of Cardiff (Glover) , who married a 
daughter of Robert ab William. (4) William Vychan, of 
Nant-y-crynwydd, in Llangynwyd, married Wenllian, 
daughter of John Powell David, and had Thomas and 
Howell. Howell married and had issue. 

X.— -John Gwyn ab Thomas, married Wenllian, daughter 
ofRees ab John, of Glyn-nedd. They had (i) Jane, co- 
heiress, who married ist, William Jenkm Havard, of Llan- 
trythid ; and, John Came, of Sully ; 3rd, William Came, of 
Llandough. (a) Margaret, coheiress, married Howell ab 
Morgan William, of Bettws. (3) Thomas, a base son, who 
married and had issue. 

NoTB.— There are several cadets of the Stewards of Tir larll. 

The Havards of Llaotrytbid eventually became Howards. John Came, 
•of Sully, was murdered by two servants of Herbert, Constable of Cardiff 
Castle^ who were sent hf their master for that purpoee to Sullr. where 
meeting him alone in a field they quickly killed nim. This was in the 
reiga cm Henry VIII. The murder was inquired into in the Star Chamber, 
imt no pnnishment wonld appear to have fallen upon the murderers, 


Rbfubncb to thb Pobts op Tir Iakll— FtoM Anciimt 


A oet gobAith i'a iaith ni. 
Faith gofawdl,fythcyfodi? 
Oet, OM, cwynwn anioet caith, 
B'o iawn cwbl, byw yw'a gobaitb. 
Pa bryd. feibion digonawl. 
Pencerddiiid bydr ar bob mydr mawl, 
Y cawn ni'r Alelia. 
O farn deg Daw Frenin da 7 
Pan ddel caledwaith cbwaith chwag, 
Cnawd pwy o'r roordwy mawrdeg, 
. Gloywfab Cof-hydr ddrych g%vych gwyda, 
Golan o'r Marchog Elydn, 
Ac yaa awen geoan, 
Yn y " Tir," gwir. ac nid gau, 
Y'n bernir. hwn yw'r gwir gwyUt, 
"Wyrion Gweonw>tion EisyUt 

Rhys Gocr Ekyri. 1420. 

Yma o Brif-Feirdd ymbrofwo, 
O dair gradd i dori grwo. 
GauFFYDD Dafvdd, Ycktin, tm Ftirdd Tir UrU, 1460. 

Ba dd'ymod bn ddoe amom ! 
Beirdd Tir larll bu orddod droni t 
Duodd gwawd ac oedd gadam, 
Diweddu beirdd fel dydd bam. 
Lbwys MoRGANWO,>a MMfwnttd Icrwtrth Fjmglwjtd, 1590. 

Byr ddennydd mewn barddoniaeth| 
Barddaa wir heb urddas aeth 1 

Edmond Pkys, 1633. . 

Spbcimem op the Poetry op some op the Bards op Tir. 


Stomas to the WeU calUd " Ffynm GoUwy,'' at Pyh. 

Dnw gwyn im' Benwyn beunydd— a fo*n nerth, 
Ef yw Naf tragywydd \ 
Duw ddtdwyll, da i ddedwydd, 
Dnw'n rbo'i fy enaid i'n rbydd. 

Gan Dduw nef ond ef iawn yw dwyn^iddo 
Ef weddi fo addfwyn ; 
Gwelais gael, gwedi gloes g^'yn, 
Gwelliant wrth flynon Gollwyn. 

Yno y rhodd Duw g^yn heb gwyno— flynon 
Kr ffyniant i'n puro ; 
lechyd i'n bryd o fewn bro 
Amlygwyd wrth deml lago.*. _ 

* Fyle Church. 


Diiw gniol, by wiol, cyn byd,— o*i fedd 
A drefoodd yn byfryd ; 
Ffynoo fy w. ffyoiaot i fyd, 
Ucbawdwr rydd rad iechyd. 

Dafyod Bbnwvn (after being cnrad at tbe well 
ia tbe year 1580). 
To the NightingaU. 

Pwy yn nail v panelant 
A gan mor ber ei genau 

Pynciau Pencerdd? 
Ni cheir Uef dan y nef nn ainge, 
Na chAn g^ffielyb i'w chaingc, 

Pnrgaingc Pfencerdd. 

MauRio Dafyud, • F«fft«i| 1360. ^ 

To Lady Mamd^ of Margam. 

Mwyn ei nwydan, meinwea ydwyd 
. A wir garwyd am ragoran ; 
Ag awenau y da ganwyd. 

Wir a nyddwyd i'th rinweddau ; 
E'th enseiliwyd. a than lelan 

Haulwen olau, *th ail ni wetwyd | 
Do, r addolwyd dy feddylian, 
A'th fdl enau'n faith folianwyd. 

Edward Dafydd, e/lferfiai, 1660. 

To the Margam HoundSt by ike same. 

Llais y c^n, a*tt i^n yn aeinio, 
A wna i ddyffryn union ddeffro, 
Aeth eu Uef drwy*r hoH bentrefydd, 
Bryeian gwylltion. bronau gelltvdd ; 
Rhed eu miwtig 'rnyd y meusydd. 
Sain eu pcesgerdd ay'n y prysgwydd ; 
I'w Uwyi agwedd a'u llais hygar; 
Clywch eu Uef, fal clywch eu llafar t 

To CfomwelVs Partisans^ by the same. 

Ifae'n rhaid ufuddhau mewn rhUh*-daa dewi,* 
A chwerwi'n dra chyrith ; 
I faldordd. plant y felldith 
Qydd yma*n dftg, plAg i'n plith. 

True Faith. 

Gwir fiydd y sydd yn cynn aerch, 
le, gwinercb mewn glew gwartvth, 
I'w droi'n ei gals o'i drais rhy drwch, 
I*r fflwch dawelwcb dilyth ; 
Bydd wAr, bydd hawddgar, a llawn hedd, 
Yr unwedd a*r mwyn oenyn ; 
Gelynaidd 4rg, er drwg, oer draii^ 
O ddiawl 1 na chaia ei ddilya. 

AMTBom Pywsu 


Cydwrbod dda'i nod Ran Ddaw Ncr-o dbai, 
A chyfiawn foddlooder ; 
Nid rhaid Kolttd dihaid. gweler : 
lawn y w*r ymtwyn uorhy w amier ; 
Daw iddoetb yw'r cyfoeth, oofiar I 
Ynddo rbodio'n ddawr et hydar. ^ „ /^ . 

SaMuaL JONBt. OfUriady a*i Cant. 

i4iM/W» ^ thi $am Autk^. 

Y Dttw mawr. tfo di 'mwriad 
I'r iawn yttyr yn waatad ; 
Wyf wan. bydd o'm rban yn rhad, 
" ' ifiatad; 

\ gwaaJdcr na'i 

NaL eto tyn h atad ; 

Fy Ner. i'm gwaaJdcr na'm fad. 

I'm tertbedd lla maa'm tyrthiad ; 

Rhol Uef b yd eurnaf arnad— yw'm foiehwyl, 

Dnw anwyi, am danad, 

Calad wyf.dyw fi. O Dad I 

7^ Dr. John David Rkys. 

y gwr doetb a'r gair datbawl 
6y'n arwedd laitb aynwyrawl, 
Cyrdd ugeiomyrdd i'tb ganmawi, 
cfodywof1rdd,clyway(awL ^^^^^ g,^^^ 

Emcljmwu in praiu to thi Author of " Drych y Pfif Onoodd^ 

Gwalwcb, dcallwcb da 'wyllva— Cymro, 
Mewn camrau gwir ddUya, 
Anwyl o'r 'ablenydd Ynya. 
Geirwir llawn, agorwr Uys* 

Benditbied Duw byw. diball— «i fywyd| 
O fawen, a'm deall, 
I foU gwir uwcb aralL 
Haddaircttabaaddat'rcalL ^ ^_ 

IiuAN BaADVoao^ aV BiitM% 


BfyBllywaich.— Short description of the ftmi hoate.—* Extracts from 
Letters on the Rev. Samuel Jones, M.A., by the Rev. R. P. Llewelyn, 
M.A., in the old BrUgtnd Cikrra/^.— Mr. Jones» after he was ejected 
from the Parish Charch« established NonconfiMmist Churches, and the 
first Nonconformist School in Wales, Ac; 

IrYNLLYWARCH is the name of a large farm 
situated on the banks of the lAyfnwy, about two miles 
to the south of the Parish Church. It is best known 
from its having been the home of the Rev. Samuel Jones» 
who was ejected from the Vicarage of Llan|^ynwyd for 
Nonconformity in the year 1662. Here most of his numerous 
family were tiorn, and here many of them died during the 
father's life— and here he himself died in the year 1697. 

The house to this day, is much the same as when 
occupied by Mr. Jones ; the only difference being that the 
stone roof has been replaced by one of slate. The walls 
are remarkablv thick, and the massive wood- work is of the 
very best Welsh Oak. The house contains six extensive 
rooms, viz., work-room, kitchen, and hall ; and three bed- 
rooms. The porch or chief entrance faces the south, and on 
the green lawn in front of the house a very charming 
landscape meets the eye. On this lawn up to a recent date, 
stood the trunk of a huge tree, which must have been in its 
full vigour at the time Mr. Jones lived ; under its shade, it 
is said, the reverend gentleman used dutins the summer 
months to spend a considerable portion of his time in 
meditation and prayer. 

In the Bridgend Chronicle of September 4th, 1858, a letter 
appeared, signed '* T.M.," making enquiry respecting the 
inscription then illegible upon the tomb of the Rev. S. Jones, 
of Brynllywarch, which the writer wished to obtain. 

He understood that it had been copied by the Rev. W. 
Jones, Minister of the Independent Chapel at Bridgend, who 
died in 2850, and hoped it might be recovered from his papers. 
In the followiiji; week's issue, the Rev. R. P. Llewelyn 
addressed the Editor on the subject. He hoped someone 
would be able to give Mr. M. the information he required. 
The Parish school (he said) was formerly kept in the 


western porch of the Church, and the churchyard for many 
years was the common playground. He has seen 80 children 
playing at the same time over tombs and graves. These 
urchins in their gambols knocked down many curious 
monuments, which once adorned the churchyard, and 
committed sad havoc in the place. This has caused the 
obliteration of the Rev. S. Jones's epitaph. Happily, through 
the kind exertions of the late Mr. Jenkins, of Gelly, and at a 
great expense to himself, the school has been removed to the 
outside of the Churchyard, and the graves are no longer 
desecrated by the pranks of mischief-loving boys. Taliesia 
ab lolo, when he had visited the place many years ago, had 

Sromised Mr. Llewelyn that he would search his father's 
[S. for the epitaph ; but he never heard from him. Mr* 
Llewelyn then goes on :— 

'* I have looked in an old Register of the Parish, com- 
mencing (or, to use the words of the vicar, nstauratum), in 
1662, and up to the date of Mr. Jones's death, I find the fol- 
lowing entries there : — 

'* ' Samuel, et Gulielmus, filii Samuelis Jones et Marias 
Powell, baptizati fuerunt 6^ 9*""* 1662. 

** * Samuel Jones Sepultus fuit I2« Novembris, 1662. 

" * Sarah filia Samuelis Jones et Mariae Powell, baptizata 
fuit decimo die Decembris, 1665. 

'* * Timotheus filius Samuelis Jones et Marias Powell bap- 
tizatus fuit decimo die Decembris, 1665. 

•' * Martha filia Samuelis Jones et Mariae Powell baptizata 
fuit 8* die Januarii, i66f. 

** * Martha Jones Sepulta fuit apud Bettws 13* Februariit 

*** Jacobus filius Samuelis Jones et Marias Powell bapti- 
zatus fuit 18* die Februarii, 166^. 

" ' Gulielmus Jones, puer, sepultus fuit 27* Maii, 1669. 

'• * Rutha Jones, puella, sepulta fuit 28* Feb., 16'^. 

'* * Racheil, filia Samuelis Jones et Mariae Powell bap- 
tizata fuit vicesimo die Januarii, 167-7-. 

•* * Josephus et Benjaminus Jones, filii Samuelis Jones et 
Mariae Powell, baptizati fuerunt ai" Januarii, 167^. 

•«• Benjamin Jones, puer, sepultus fuit 28" Januarii, 167!. 

" * Josephus jfones, puer, sepultus fuit 6» Martit, 167^. 

•* * Samuele nlius Samuelis Jones et Mariae Powell baptiza- 
tus fuit 25 die Aprilis, 1675. 

*• < Priscilla filia Samuelis Jones et Mariae Powell bapt. 
fuit 29* die Julii, 1676.' 

*« On another leaf, the above baptism is entered thus:^ 


«<*Priscilla Jones nata fuit a5*diejulii et baptizata fuit 
39 die Z676.' 

*' It seems his wife died in givinc^ birth to the above child, 
for the next entry I meet with is as follows : — 

"'Maris Powell, uxor Samuelis Jones, sepulta fuit 26* die 
Julii, 1676. 

'* This entry of Maria Powell's death is also in duplicate, the 
only difference between the two entries being that the word 
Samuelis is abbreviated into ' Sam.' And the letters A* for 
Anno are inserted in the other entry. The death of 
Priscilla Tones is also given in duplicate, as follows, on two 
separate leaves :— 

'**PrisciUa Jones, puella (sic) sepulta fuit 8* die 7 
bris.— 76. 

'* ' Priscilla Jones, puella, sepult fuit 8* Septembris, 1676.' 

" Poor Mr. tones seems to have suffered from the parson's 
propensity of naving many children. Some persons might 
interpret this as one means of spreading the gospel. How- 
ever we take it, Mr. Jones seems to have been in favour of 
matrimony, for, at the age of 50, he took a second wife. The 
entry of this I will give you next week. 

Dated from Llan Vicarage, 8th September, 1858." 

The following week Mr. Llewelyn resumes the subject. 
He is disappointed no one has supplied the epitaph, but 
hopes this correspondence will be the means ofdragging it 
from some obscure corner. Then he proceeds : — 

" The Clerk and myself, after much rubbing and scrubbing 
with brushes, cloths, and water (no stone, sand, or other 
hard material, was used), have succeeded in deciphering the 
inscription on Mrs. Jones's tomb. 

•*In vitA mors, 
In morte vita. 
Mary, wife of Samuel Tones, of BrynUywarch, was buried on the 
S5tii July. 

• AftfM J Domini 1676. 

-^™* 1 ^tatis sua 38. 
A loving wife, a mother dear, 
Asleep in Christ, is lodged here; 
Reader, repent, thy minutes fly, 
Redeem thy time, and learn to dve; 
Now make thy peace in Christ alone, 
Slig not the counsel of this stone." 

■*The same process of cleaning has been tried by Mr. 
T. Morgan on the tomb of the Rev. S. Jones, but without 
result. It seems quite untraceable. Tetupus, edax rerum, and 
the hobnails of the school children, have done their worst. 
Who Mary Powell, the first wife, was, I know not. Sev- 


eral respectable penons of the name of Powell resided In 
the parish at that time, I suspect, and it is the merest 
suspicion, that she was the daughter of Rees Powell, of 
Maesteg, by Joanna Jones, of whom I have a few words to say 

" In less than thirteen months after burying this ' loving 
wife and mother deare,' Mr. Jones made a second ven- 
ture. This marriage is registered in duplicate on two 
separate leaves, and is word for word the same in each place, 
with the single exception that, in one entry, Mr. Jones is said 
to be * de Brynllywarch/ and in the other ' de Llangonwyd.' 

" L. Samuel Jones de Brynllywarch et Maria David (or 
Davids) de St. Lydons in matrimonio conjuncti fuerant 
14* die Augusti, 1677. 

**St. Lydons is doubtless St. Lythians, or Llanfleiddian 
Vach, near Cardiff* 

" Mr. Jones is said to have been a native of Denbighshire 
(* Peter's Hams Ctefydd! &c., p. 564). Some say that he 
was from the Parish of Chirk, not far from Llangollen. I 
find in an old Register thr. following entry : ^ 

'* * L. David Jones, de Parochia, Llangollen, comitate 
Denbigh, et Maria Jones de Llangonwyd, in matri- 
monio conjuncti fuerent apud Swansey, 15* die August, 
1687.' I suspect that these persons were related; first 
cousins, perhaps, and that Maria Jones was the eldest 
child of the Rev. S. Tones, by his first wife. I cannot, 
however, prove this, (or the old Registers of the Parish 
are missing. They were either taken away by the Rev. S. 
Jones, or more likely still destroyed in those troublous- 
times, for Mr. Jones seems to have been very wishful 
that all births, deaths, and marriages connected with his 
family should be recorded in the Parish Registers. Even 
this entry of a marriage solemnised at Swansey seems to 
prove that he was careful on that head. The Rev. John 
Hutton, Vicar of the Parish from i66a to Deer., 1705, and 
the Rev. Mr. Jones seem to have lived on terms of great 
courtesy, if not friendship. This seems proved by entries 
in reference to Mr. Jones's family, even where the ceremonies 
recorded were solemnised in other Parishes. Mr. Hutton 
recorded Mr. Jones's death in full. I shall give you the 
entry by-and-bye, and he also wrote the long Latin Epitaph 
for his tomb, which is obliterated. In one respect only do I 
observe aught which wears the appearance of discourtesy. 
He studiously withholds from Mr. Jones the title of Cltf^ or 
Clericus. Mr. Hutton appears to have been punctilious in 
this matter, for he uses the title some eight or ten times in 


various entries, even when recording the death of a clergy- 
man's widow. I give an example :—' Margaretta David, 
relict Watkini ab Evan, Cler, Sepult fuit 21* die 7 bris, 168^.' 

** Was this Margaretta David, a sister of Mary David, 
Mrs. Tones*s second wife ? 

" 6ut how are we to account for this withholding of the 
title Clericus from every entry in the Register where Mr. 

1ones*s name occurs ? I can see no other solution than that 
Ir. Jones was not episcopally ordained.^ If so, Mr. Jones's 
non-acceptance of the Act of Uniformity was not the sole 
cause of his removal from this Vicarage. He was legally 
disqualified from holding it. 

•* Dated, * Llan Vicarage,' September 14th, 1858.*' 

This interesting subject is continued by Mr. Llewelyn in 
the paper of October x6th, 1858. 

*' I intimated my suspicion,** he says, ** that David and 
Mary Jones were related. It may be as well to offer a few 
reasons for the suspicion : — 

'* The Rev. Samuel Tones came himself, it appears, from 
Llangollen, or the neighbourhood. On referring to * Willis's 
St. Asaph,* by Edwards, Vol. I., page 335, I find that 
Humphrey Jones, vicar of Llangollen, was ejected in i653r 
Was this Humphrey Jones any relative of the Rev. S. Jpnes, 
or of the said David Jones who married Mary Jones ? The 
surname 'Jones' was very uncommon in this parish at 
the period to which these letters relate. Looking on the 
Registers from 1662 up to the date of the Rev. S. Jones's death 
in 1697, 1 find the name of Jones onlv five or six times, and 
these, I believe, not in connection with natives of this parish. 
I find the names of Evanus Jones de Aberavon Cler twice. 
The name of Evanus Tones Curat de Mich. Sup. Avon occurs 
once or twice. Probably the Cler de Aberavon and the 
Curat de Michaelstone Sup. Avon were the same person. 
The next time I find the name of Jones is in the following 
entry: — 

" 1685, Elizabeth Jones, pauper, relicta Johnis Hf^pkin^ 
Sepulta fuit 26" die Martii Ao, /Btatis suae 83*. 

'*This person, probably, was not a native of the parish ; 
most likely she was imported by her husband. Tlie last 

• Llanoonwyo in Com. Glamorgan— Samuel Jones, Clerk, Master of 
Arts, admitted 4th May, itsy, to the Vicarage of Llaogonwyd, County of 
Glamorgan, upon a presentation exhibited the same day from his highness 
Ye Lord Protector, under ye great Seal of England, and ('ertificAt^s from 
Edmund Ellis, of Ffagans, Hen.; Nicholls. of i>>ychurch ; Ben. h'fituler,. 
of Cardiff; Jo. French, of ^Vem*oe; Griffith Davies, of Kelligire: Kdm. 
Carnage, B. Buell, Rob Thomas.— FW. 992, " ImUfulims,** /. 23.-* 
Lambeth Library. 


instance in which I find the name of Tones in the period over 
which my search extends is in the following entry : — 

'** Joanna Jones, relicta Rici Powell de Maesteg, Sepulta 
fuit 29* die Januarii 169} Anno iGtatis 86*.' 

" As I have before intimated, I suspect this lady was the 
mother of Mary PoweU, first wife of the Rev. S. Jones. I 
shall, therefore, at the close of the letter, say a little more 
concerning her, and give a short pedigree oi the Powells, of 
Maesteg. The surname Jones appears to have pertained in 
those times more to North than to South Wales, at least, so 
far as regards this parish, for that patronymic seems confined 
to the Rev. S. Jones and his family. The surname— the 
equivalent of the modern Jones^which formerly obtained in 
this parish was John, and certainly it occurs often enough. I 
transcribe an entry which may serve as a specimen of the 
old surname and as an instance of extraordinary longevity. 

*' ' 167^ Thomas John Sepultus fuit 19* die Januarii Anno 
^tatis suae centesimo et undecimo.* 

** After this long digression, I return to the entries in the 
Register, which have reference to the Rev. S. Jones. 

•* ' Samuel Jones, puer sepultus fuit 23* die Febniarii, 

*** Johannes Jones puer sepultus fuit 24* die Julii, i68x, 
Anno iEtatis suae ax '.' 

** It will be observed that this young man was born before 
the commencement of the Old Register. He was, perhaps, 
the second child, Maria being the first. * 1681, Jacobus Jones 
puer (frater ejus) sepultus fuit 25* die Julii Anno iCtatis suae 
13'.' These two young men were buried in two separate- 
graves in the middle of the churchyard, about twenty yards 
south of the mother's grave. The tombs erected over them 
by a father's care were standing within the last twenty years ; 
and inscribed on them were seen ten or a dozen English lines, 
in which the sorrowing father poured out, in most touching 
accents, the grief of a wounded spirit. But, alasl those 
graves were sacrilegiously broken open,* the tombstones are 
destroyed, and the inscriptions are lost. This infamous act 
was committed before I came to this place. 

•« In 1689, I find the following tatty :— 

'* * Samuel Jones, infans Sepultus fuit Vicesimo octavo die, 
Aug. 1689, atque baptizatus fuit tertio die Junii Anno ultimo 

'* And now follows the entry that I have placed as the 
limit of my search, that of Mr. Jones's death :— - 

** 'i697,,SamuelJones, A.M., quondam Socius e CoU. Tesu, 
Oxon, Sepultus fuit decimo die mensis Septembris, Anno 


iEtatis suae septuagesimo.* The usual adjunct of * Cler/ is 
withheld from him even in the last entry» 

'* Of Mr. Jones's numerous children, whose baptisms are 
recorded in the Register, with two exceptions, — Timothy and 
Rachel— all are likewise recorded as having died before the 
father. What became of Timothy and Rachel I know not» 
nor do I mean at present to inquire. As promised in my 
first letter, I have given all entries pertaining to his family 
up to his death, and there I close. 

*' Mr. Jones presided at the Eisteddfod held at Beaupre^ 
at Whitsuntide, 1681 (see Cy/rinach y Beirdd, p. i). In that 
volume there are several scraps of really good Welsh poetry 
written by Mr. Jones in accordance with the rules of the 
Glamorganshire Bards. At page 164, of C. >. B., are some 
lines with Mr. Jones's name attached to them ; and 
at p. 93, the same lines are attributed to Mr. Anthony 
Powell, of Llwydarth, in this parish, a gentleman and 
celebrated Antiquary, from whom are descended several 
highly respectable families now in Glamorganshire. 

''Although a North Walian by birth, Mr. Jones, being a 
well educated man, adopted the Glamorganshire prosody, 
and spurned those vile metrical fetters with which the North 
Walian bards hampered themselves at the instigation of 
the Monkish Rhymester, Dafydd ap Edmwnt-> fetters which 
have caused greater ruin to Welsh poetry than all the 
statutes ever promulgated against the bards by all the 
Kings of England. 

" Mr. Jones seems to have been acclimatised, and ended 
the few and evil days of his pilgrimage at Brynllywarch, 
which may have been a part of the landed possessions of 
the Powells— perhaps even the marriage portion of Mary 
Powell. I may at least observe this much, that Bryn]l3'warch 
at the present moment is the property of a representative 
of the branch of the Powell family, Mr. J. P. Traherne, 
of Goed-tre-hen. . 

" There remains to me now but to fulfil my promise in 
respect to Joanna Jones, and the pedigree of the Powells.^ 
Joanna Jones, the wife of Rees Powell, and probably 
mother of Mary Powell (Mr. Jones's first wife), was the 
daughter of the Rev. Morgan Jones, D.D.. Treasurer of 
Landaff, and Rector of Newton Nottage, and Llanmaes, 
in this county. (See ** Willis's Landaff," p. 85-1 80.) Joanna 

Jones's sister, Priscilla, was married to the Rev. Rowland 
iarry, M.A., Rector of Coity. Priscilla was a family name 

* This will bo given at the end of the volumii 


pertaining to the family of Dr. Jones and the Powells, and at 
the birth of Priscilla Jones, the Rev. S. Jone8*s first wife 

Soon after the separation of the Rrv. Samuel Jones from 
the Established Church (to which reference has been already 
made), he was invited to preach at a house called Tymaen^ 
near Pontrhydycyff, and not far diiitant from his residence at 
Brynllywarch. He preached also in a cowshed at a place 
called Cildeudy, in the Hamlet of Baiden. Soon also, he 
commenced to hold frequent services in the adjoining Parish 
of Bettws, as well as at Bridgend. He organized churches 
at both the last named places, which churches remained in a 
prosperous condition for many years. At the end of the last 
century, upon the death of the Kev. Samuel Price, it appears 
that some of the adherents, and part of the Endowments of 
both, fell into the hands of the Unitarians.* 

But the greatest service which Mr. Jones rendered to the 
cause of Nonconformity was the starting of a school at 
Brynllywarch, at which he undertook the training of young 
men tor the Ministry. This was the first institution for this 
purpose that was established in Wales; and in this con- 
nection, as well as for the efficient general education which 
was imparted there, it became widely known and highly 

We have it on record that one of the Mansels, of Margam, 
sent his son to be instructed by Mr. Jones ; also, the two 
brothers, the Revs. Rees Pricef and Samuel Price, of 
Tynton, and other distinguished Nonconformist ministers, 
were educated at this school. From the testimony of contem- 
poraries, we gather that Mr. Jones was of an exceedingly 
gentle demeanour, and renowned for his humility. Possessed 
of profound learning, great refinement, and Christian 
character, it is not to be wondered at that persons of the 
highest degree placed the greatest confidence in him as the 
preceptor of their sons. 

* The churches at Bridgend and Bettwt were endowed by the family 
of Tynton, LlangetMr, who gave the farm called Cae-garw for the said 
. purpose. The late Wyndham Lewis. Esq., M.P. for Maidstone, was a 
descendant of the Tynton family : the widow of whom became the devoted 
wife of the late Lord Beaconsfield. Also Sir Humphrey Edwin, an 
ancestor of the present Earl of Dunraven, deposited in the funds for the 
same purpose a sum of money, and the income of both Endowments at 
present are reputed to be about /70 oer annum, 

t Rees Price took charge of the cburches at Bettws and Bridgend, after 
the death of Mr. Jones. He died in March. 1739. His son. Dr. Richard 
Price, became a great political writer in the time of the American War and 
the French Revolution. He was born at Tyoton. Llaageinor, and died in 
London in the year 1791. 


Almost all writers who have undertaken to give the par- 
ticulars of Mr. Jones's history have fallen into the error of 
stating that he preached, after he was ejected from Llan- 
gvnwyd, at Baiden— a Chapel-of-Ease to the Parish Church. 
This error has probably arisen from the fact that Mr. Jones 
preached so frequently at Baiden, which he himself refers to 
m an Engfyn which is still extant. He undoubtedly referred to 
Cildeud^v which place is mentioned in the list of licensed 
houses in Glamorganshire, granted to the Nonconformists by 
Charles II., in a decree dated March 34th, 1672, to hold divine 
worship. It is also recorded that the Rev. Rees Price mlnisr 
tered at Cildeudy, in 1715* 

.4' fl #«N 


CelB Ydfa: iti aituation.— Mr. Thoous. lather of the "Maid oC Cdn 
Ydla."*— The Courtkhip of Ann Thomas with WUl Hopkin. the bard- 
--Her marriage to Anthony Maddocke,* of Cwmyriaga, aod its sad 
conaequencea.— The marriage aettlement-^The death of the Maid: 
alao of Will Hopkin.— Mr. Maddocks building a mansion, and 
marrying a second wife.— His practice as a lawyer.— Extracts from his 
ledgers. Ac. 

tHIS celebrated place is situated on an elevated spot on 
the slope of a hill projecting out in a north-easterly 
direction from Baiden Mountain, on the western side 
of the Llynfi Valley. 

In some old documents we have seen, the name is written 
Ce£h-y-Gnydfa, signifying "the ridge of plenty'*; but as 
■ written in the present day, the meaning would imply that the 
situation was convenient for com growing. Both appear to 
us to be a corruption of the original name given by our fore- 
fathers to this historical spot. 

To those who are acquainted with the neighbourhood, 
•especially Baiden Mountain, it will be seen that the locality 
has not always been blessed with the serenity it now enjoys, 
and it must have appeared to them that the huge entrench- 
ments which are there seen, were at one time, the scene of 
desperate military adventures, and hard fought battles. There 
is in the vicinity a ford, once known as Rhya-y-cym^ *' The ford 
of the bugle horns*'; and about half a mile further north is 
r«V GadUf, •• The place of the war cry," and Gailyt^ •« The 
camp, or entrenchment." A little further on, in a recess, 

• Probably, Mr. Maddocks, of Cefn Ydfa. was the first of the family to 
add the i to his surname. The old people had a great dislike to such 
addition, which they considered to arise from pride on the part of those 
who used it. 

The Rev. Thos. William, of Bethesda, reproved his printer once^ for 
serving him thus, with the following lines :— 

** Fi dd'wedais wrtho'n ddioam 
Mai fenw oedd Thomas WiUiam; 

Ond er y cvfan oil a wnes, 
Fe ddododd e'r « fongam.'* 


hidden among the hills, are the remains of an old castle^ 
which, at one time, must have had important connection 
with the turbulent periods experienced by the inhabitants 
of ancient days. In the light of the above facts, the real 
name of this place suggest itself to us as Cefn-Udfa, **The 
ridge of wailing,'* a most expressive name, could events of 
bygone days be now made known. The present farm- 
house, known as Cefn Ydfa, is a good specimen of the 
old farm-houses which are to be met with throughout the 
parish, about which we have nothing in particular to say ; ' 
but adjoining are the remains of a much older dwelling-house, 
to which, about the year 1728, was attached a considerable 
mansion, which, by reason of its comparatively modern 
appearance, gives a sense of desolation to a spot otherwise 
beautiful. Within living memory, this mansion was inhabited 
by a family of some distinction — the Mackworths, for they 
were at one time the owners of the Lordship of ** Tir larll." 
This mansion was also called Cefn Yd/a, a name familiar to 
all who have a slight acquaintance with the poetry and 
poetical traditions of Glamorganshire. 

It is not on account of the Mackworths, nor any of the 
modern Lords of ** Tir laril ** that this place became 
celebrated, but for its connection with an earlier occupant of 
the old ruined house between the present farm-house and 
the remains of the above Mansion ; and her name, Ann 
Thomas, the "Maid of Cefn Ydfa," of 1725-27; by reason 
of her hapless love for the peasant Bard, Will Hopkin, of 
Llangynwyd, has given pre-eminence to the locality, and 
the interest manifested in her sufferings has aroused many a 
pilgrim from a distant land to visit this romantic spot. 

Those who 8 re familiar with the outlines of the pathetic 
story of the fair maid, and have never seen Cefn Ydfa, will 
hear, perhaps with some regret, but certainly not with 
surprise, that the scene once of tender and hopeful joy, but 
afterwards of much cruel wrong and mortal suffering, is now 
desolate, and has become the haunt of the owl and the bat,* 
and, indeed, it is fitting that it should be, that this ** ower true 
tale *' of a gentle maiden's woe, which needs no embelish- 
ment from art, to place it above the imagined woes of 
romance, should have ended in accordance with what i& 

* It it tlM geDeral belief in the neighbourhood, that the Mansion was 
haunted ; and we have the word of several parties who tried to live there 
before it was altogether abandoned, that it was impossible to do so. That 
at night they could not sleep owing to the disturbance caused by some 
anseeo spirit The dogs would not stay in the house at night if they 
ooold poeaibly avoid it 


known as " Poetical Justice.** The laws of nature and the 
laws of art. do sometimes meet and run together, and they 
have done so here. 

The story opens in, or about the year 2,700, and Cefn Yd/a 
is owned by, and in the occupation of a gentleman of the 
name of William Thomas, who is said to have been a descend* 
ant of Sir Edward Thomas^ of Cwrt y Bettws. Mr. Thomas, 
chose for himself a wife, one Catherine Price, from the 
adjoining Parish of Bettws, and sister of the Rev. Rice 
Price, of Tynton, Llangeinor. This relationship, perhaps, 
in some decree, will explain the causes which led up to the 
climax of this sad story. It is well known that the Prices 
had a very high notion of parental authority, and scrupled 
not to enforce that authority by extreme penalties ; natural 
affections seeming to be crushed out of them, if but a whim 
were thwarted. Out of this family, came the celebrated 
Richard Price, of Stoke Newington ; and those who have 
read his life will remember that his father, the above- 
mentioned Rev, R. Price, disinherited him for a change in 
religious belief; and the same stern personage seems to 
figure in every important event at Cefn Yd/a, while his sister 
was connected with the place. 

In the Parish Registers may be seen the following entry : 

■* Gulielmut Thomas, de Langonwyd. et Cttherina Price, de Bettws, 
in Matrimonio coDJuncti fuersnt nit die Martii, 1703." 

This is the record of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, 
of Cefn Yd/a. Their married life covered but the brief period 
of three years and nine months. Two children were the 
issue of the marriage, a daughter, Ann, who is the subject 
of this story, and a son, William, who died in infancy, 
surviving his father only a few days, and they were buried 
in the same grave, in the chancel of the Church at 
Llangynwyd, on which may now be seen the following 
inscription :— 

'* Here lieth ye body of William rhomas, ye father, who died ye 
23 December, and William Thomas, his son, who died ye 36 of the 
same month, of ye year, 1707.1 

* It is recorded of Sir Edward, that he went on an Expedition to 
Briton Ferry, to attack the Parliamentary Garrison there, and was 
taken prisoner. 

t The inscriptkm on the stone is misleading; the Registers record their* 

** Gulielmns Thomas sepultus fuit 140. xo bris 1706. 
Gnlielmus Thomas intans wpnltns fuit aS*. to bris 1706. 

How this mistake occurred it is impossible to explain., 


Then follows an epitaph :— 

* My worke and preaching now hath ceaaed, 
Deftth of my labour hath me eased ; ' 
Still through this stone to all I cry, 
Oh I tarn and live, repent, or diei'** 

The baptism of the daughter Ann is recorded in the regis- 
ters as having taken place on the eighth day of May, 1704. 
The rites were administered by her uncle, the Rev. R. Price, 
who, according to Dr. Rees,t was a distinguished Noncon- 
formist minister. It appears that the ceremony was 
performed at the house at Cefn Ydfa, shortly after the 
birth of the child, amid great pomp and family rejoicing, and 
the father, on his part, taking particular care to see that the 
baptism was duly recorded by the Vicar of the parish in the 

Referrmg to Mr. Thomas's will, a copy of which is pre- 
served at the Consistory Court, Llandaff, we find that he had 
appointed the Rev. R. Price, his brother-in-law, an^ Mr. 
Richard Price, referred to by the testator, as his particular 
friend, to be the testamentary guardians of his children. As 
we have already said, the son William being dead, the only 
surviving issue was his daughter Ann, to whom, witli her 
mother, the property was left in trust. Tradition has proved 
misleading in assuming that Mr. Anthony Maddocks, of Cwm- 
yr-isga^ had been chosen by the father of the ** Maid *' to be 
one of her guardians during her minority. Whatever part 
Mr. Maddocks took in bringing about a marriage between his 
son and heir and Ann Thomas, it cannot be said that any 
such authority had been accorded him by the father. 
There is little doubt that the two families were on very inti- 
mate terms while Mr. Thomas lived, and perhaps that 
intimacy increased, after his death. We find that Mr. 
Maddocks was their legal adviser, as well as of the Prices, 
of Tynton ; and his books, which we have examined, bear 
record of such transactions. Mr. William Thomas seems to 
have been a man of considerable substance, not to say 
wealth, and of a highly respectable family. Mrs. Thomas, 
also, must have been considered superior to the generality of 
ladies residing in the neighbourhocd at that time, though it 
cannot be said of her that she was an accomplished lady in 
the sense of the present age, for she was unable to write even 

* It is thought by some, from the epitaph, that Mr. Thomas was a Non- 
conformist minister, and, in all probability, had been educated at Bryn- 
Jlywareh School ; bat thers is no evidence m support of such conjecture. 

f " History of Welsh Nooconfermity.*' 


her own name on an important document which shall be 
referred to hereafter. 

Ann Thomas, under the care of her mother and her 
guardians, grew up into girlhood, to find herself ripening into 
beauty, and to enjoy the reputation of being an heiress. Of 
those who must have taken part prominently in the events 
which took place at Cefn Ydfa from 1707 to 1725, we can see 
the distinct figures of but two— the Maid, and her bard lover* 
Mr. Anthony Maddocks, of Cwm-yr-isga, a lawyer by pro- 
fession, and one who was carrying on an extensive practice, 
was possessed of considerable means, and, in every respect 
the equal of his neighbours at Cefn Ydfa. He served as 
Under Sheriff of Glamorgan in 2719, Mr. Michael Williams, 
of Bridgend, being the Sheriff. He had a son and heir 
named Anthony, whom he had brought up to the law, and 
who proved himself an energetic man of business. He, also, 
served as Under Sheriff of Glamorgan, in 2743, when Mr» 
Mathew Deere, of Ash Hall, was the Sheriff. 

In the pride of a father's heart, he, doubtless, appeared to 
the older Maddocks fit to wed any girl, however fair, of the 
rank of the Maid of Cefn Ydfa. Mrs. Thomas and her 
brother must have thought so too. There was money on both 
sides, and the match was all that prudence could desire ; so 
that guardians, on the one side, and lawyers on the other, 
arranged that the young people were to be married. 

At this stage we hear nothing of the tender wooing 
between the young people, nothing of the passion felt by the 
young lover ; in fact, he seems most lawyerlike in coolness and 
circumspection. A fair and gentle girl, with money and 
property, had been decreed by high contracting parties to be 
his wife; he had money too, and position, and would be a 
good husband to her. and what more was there to be said I 
It seems that neither Mrs. Thomas, the guardians, nor the 
Maddocks either dreaded, or even suspected, that anything 
could arise to frustrate their plans. Suitors in brave apparel 
had perhaps been frowned down, and could be kept at arm's 
length ; but the lover, who won the maiden's heart, came in 
more humble guise ; came with the humble and touching 
suit of true and devoted love ; came, well knowing the 
disparity of rank between himself and his mistress, to pay 
the adoration of passionate, but hopeless, love ; came, and 
won the maiden's heart. 

This humble suitor was Will Hopkin, of Llangynwyd, a 
tiler and plasterer. The Parish Registers bear testimony 
that he was baptised on the 24th day of November, 2700, 
and was the son of Hopkin Thomas and Diana Harry ; and 


was thus about three years the senior of the lovely Ann 
Thomas. Whether he was dark or fair, whether he had the 
advantage of unusual comeliness to recommend him to the 
regard of womankind, tradition fails to tell us ; but it is said 
of him that he was a young man of ruddy health, of joyous 
heart, of ready speech, a bard too; and one, moreover, 
endowed in a high degree with the gift of ** Awen barod** 
(ready muse), a qualification all Welsh bards coveted. It 
seems natural that his bardic endowments should have been 
perfected by the ancient traditions and influence of his 
native parish. The mental atmosphere of Llangynwyd must 
have been in his days balmy with the breath of Welsh 
poetry ; for, was it not the seat of a ** Bardic Chair ?" At 
that time bardic contests were part of the daily pastimes of 
the inhabitants, and Will Hopkin inherited the native gift 
above most of his contemporaries. 

Those who came after him to hold up the traditions and 
honour of the Chair of '* Tir larll,'* and to whom his memory 
was dear, used to tell of his parentage, and trace his descent 
from Hopkin Thomas Phillip, of Gelli-fid, a poet who 
flourished between 1590 and 1630; and further still from 
Hopkin Thomas ap Einion, Priest of Llangyfelach, and 
VttyS'tawe, who flourished about the year 1400. Lewys 
Hopkin, of Hendre-Ifan-Goch, and the Hopkins, of Coy- 
church, were of the same branch, viz., from Einion, Offeiriad. 
His more immediate ancestors had been respectable farmers, 
having occupied Ty-talwyn farm, and, through collateral 
branches, relationship has been traced between him and the 
greatest of the late Glamorganshire Bards, lolo Morganw^. 

While every care seems to have been taken at Cefn Ydfa 
to ward off avowed suitors, a lover appeared in a manner., 
little expected, and in a person quite undreaded by all con- 
cerned. Will Hopkin (as he was known) in the exercise of 
his craft, was engaged on the premises, and he and the fair 
Maid were brought together. It shows how little brave 
attire is required to enable a winsome youth to gain favour 
in the eyes of a maiden, provided to be the destmed lord of 
her love, when Will Hopkin, in his home-spun garments, 
won the heart of Ann Thomas. How their mutual liking 
first began, and their first acquaintance was brought about, 
was probably known but to themselves. We have been told 
many a tale, and even to this day some of the older in- 
habitants have several traditions relative to the way in 
which they first met, and broke to each other the secret o ' 
their own hearts, but they are hardly worth recording. Be 
that as it may, there is but little doubt that the **Awm barod'* 


had something to do with it. It has been said that in the 
opening davs of their first and tender love, .when its exis- 
tence was hardly confessed even by the lovers themselves, 
and undreamed of by Ann's mother, they had their meetings 
in the kitchen of Cefn Ydfa during the dinner hour. Will, 
as it was customary with tradesmen employed about farm- 
houses in the neighbourhood, would take his meals with the 
servants in the kitchen, and it has been said that Miss 
Thomas was in the habit of coming to the kitchen, just after 
the dinner was over, and order the servants to do some work 
outside, so as to give her the opportunity of conversing with 
WiU alone. This practice was carried on for some length of 
time, but such interviews could not long be kept a secret ; and 
when the old lady, her mother, was made aware of such 
meetings, Will was at once dismissed, and forbidden the . 
house. But, by this time, matters had got rather too far to 
be ended by a summary dismissal of the intruder, and the 
young couple had to find some other means of seeing each 
other, as best they could. It is to this period of their love 
that Will's Song of *' BugcUio'f Gwcnith Gwyn *' (Watching 
the Blooming VVheat) must be assigned. 

With a poet's true prescience, Will had here accurately 
estimated, and stated his own condition, and (as a conse- 
sequence of his helplessness) the hopelessness of his love, 
compared with the sharp men of the world, and the young 
Lawyer of Cwmyrisga. He was, indeed, the young and K>olish 
** boy *'; he styled himself " loving after his fancy,** and then 
follows as touching a poetical image as ever a bard 
invented : — 

*'I fondly watched the blooming wheat. 
Another reaps the treasure." 

This song has been published many years ago, and the 
Welsh words translated into a most captivating English dress, 
by the late talented Mrs. Pendril Llewelyn ; the original and 
the translation will appear with other fragments of Will 
Hopkin*s works in a subsequent chapter. 

Will and the fair Maid managed to meet one another in a 
wood near the house ; but these stolen interviews were again 
discovered, and a stop was at once put to them, and Ann 
Thomas imprisoned in her room ; the Price spirit manifest- 
ing itself in this act, in which we can see the unshaken 
determination of her hard-hearted mother, assisted no doubt 
by her brother, that the parental will should be obeyed. A 
rigorous confinement was decided upon, while the match 
with Anthony Maddocks was being pushed forward with a 
high hand. The miserable young Maid, alone in her 


guarded chamber, had a small quantity of writing materials- 
by her, unknown to her mother, and for some time one of 
the maid-servants of the house acted as a go-between in 
conveying her letters to Will, and bringing Wiirs back in 
return. It was arranged that these letters were to be placed in 
the hollow of an old tree, near a place called Corn-hwch, a 
few fields below the house. This strategem was again 
detected, and Will had his suspicions that he was betrayed 
by the messenger employed, one Ann Llewelyn, upon whom, 
in consequence, he vented his wrath. On this discovery 
taking place, writing materials were quickly removed from 
Miss Thomas's reach, and every means of communicating 
with her beloved Will taken away. Tradition tells us that 
these being denied her, she wrote a word or two to her lover 
upon a sycamore leaf, with a pin dipped in her own blood, 
and trusted the precious missive to the merciful charge of 
the wind, on the chance that it might waft it to her lover. 
Meanwhile, the greatest pressure was brought to bear upon her 
to reject Will Hopkin, and accept young Anthony Maddocks. 
Prayers, threats, and entreaties must have been used, under 
which the constancy of the sorely tried and now bewildered 
girl gave way, and a consent to marry the young lawyer was 
extorted from her, and the preparations lor the event were 
pushed forward with great speed. There were sufficient 
reasons for this, in the fact that the poor girl had all but 
attained her majority, and had the ceremony been delayed 
but a few days longer, she would have been a free agent. 
The registration of her baptism is dated 8th May» 1704, and 
the marriage took place on the 5th May, 1725. 

In taking this fatal step, Ann Thomas appears to have 
acted as a free agent, free from open and avowed coercion, 
but a promise must have been wrenched from her during the 
rigour of her imprisonment, which the poor girl's tender 
conscience would not permit her to break when she had 
regained her liberty. 

Through the kindness of the Under Sheriff of this County, 
Martin Scale, Esq., we have had the pleasure of perusing 
the original Copy of the Marriage Settlement, which was 
made, and duly signed a few days previous to the date of 
the Marriage, the substance of which is as follows : — 

**Mrs. Ann Thomas, op Kbfngnydfa, Settlement op 
Marriage to Anthony Maddocks, 3RD May, 1725. 

o « « « « 

**This Indenture made the third day of May, in the year 
uf our Lord Christ, 1725, and in the nth year of the reign^of 


our Sovjereign Lord George, by "^the Gravel, of God, King of 
Gf^t Britain, France,' and- Ireland, defeh^er of the Faith, 
between Anthony MaddOcks, junr.v^FBaiden, in the Parish 
of L'langonoyd, in the County of GlanfibYgan, gentleman* 
eldest son and heir apparent of Anthony Middocks, senior, and 
gentleman, of the first part, and Catharine Thomas, of Kefg- 
gnvdfa, &€., widows, and Ann Thopnas', ofKefngnydfa, spinster* 
omy daughter and- heiress of William 'Thomas, late of Kefn- 
gnydfa, deceased, and th^ said Catharine Thotnas, his late wife 
of the second part,'^hd Rice Price; of Tyiiton, Llan^einor* 
gentleman, and William' Edmunds; of 'W^k't-street, in the 
Parish -of Newcastle;' Glaniorgan, of the'thiYd^ and last part, 
Witfi^sseth, in consideration of a mkrriage fhtisnded between 
Anthony Maddocks, jUMr.,' and the *8did Ann Thomas, the 
settierp'ent on him of Ibnd^/tenement^, ^..'iiLhd also the pay- 
ment of ^^00 by the siiid Catharine and -AHn'Thomas. 

*' '''Also the settHng 6f a jointure^ on Atiii ''Thomas during^ 
her life Yor her maintenance. ' To ^onfimd and render binding* 
the pirbvisions and- obligations contained' iri^the deed as 
reqaiYed by form of laW; Anthony Nfaddo6Rs, junr., doth 
grant unto Rice Price and William' £dttiunds^'(by indenture 
bearing date the^day next before the date of thik date, for the 
term of 6ne whole year, aiid by force of the statute transferring 
uses into possession) the following propei'ty^ including lands, 
tenements, and appurtena'Ates whatsoever :-^" , ' 

*' ' , PROPBRTr. ' .: IN ^lllt^ OCCUPATION OP 

Tir Hopkio Maddock/ seoio'r, alias . : * ■ *' ' , ,j •„ ^1 

TiryCwm... ... ... Anthony Middock. fear. 

Tir Hopkio Maddock. jui.ior, allaa (•< ' : ^* - : 

Tir y Ffordd Gyfraith...! . .;. Lewi« Morgan. / " -- 

Coed CaeLeyson .... ,1 Evan Hopl^iqi'iii \< ^' 

Gelii Lis fach ^vah Criffith.^ 1 „.: 

DWelling-houses. &c. ... ' ... Lately 6($dupled by David Morgan. 

CoUage and croft ... ... Sarah Jeukilit. ' ^ ■* 

New-builtmessuage. or cottage and '"' t.\ \ ^ *'* . 

crqft ' ^.. . ,.\. EJIzabeth.WiUiaint (widow). 

Cottage. , .i. . " ' .V. ,.x Barbara Lewis... ,.,„.^ 

Part ofmeadovi; called Cwaia y <i. • • ^ 

'DdrcH" .;. ^ ■> ... ... *GweolKan'Po%^fell'(wfdbw). 

AU in thi HamUt of Baidtn, 

I ^ii.'i 

Dwelling-houie,' premises, and land • ,, 

(40 acres) ...» ' ... .,. Edward Powell., .. ,, j. 

Tir GwiriU Fach. about 9' acres ' ... Hicbsrd John. ^<] 

Both in the Pariih of Bonvtlitotu. ' " '^ "' * ]''^\ ./ /^> 

vTy-Cwm'Risca.and land known by the name of Cie GlAs, 
y Ddwy' ErW, Erw'r bont, CaeV CoedJsha,i Cae'r Coed'Ucha, 

. As- :^.-0 •-.:.' ■ .-..• •'■' 


Gwain Ysgubor Harri, Cae Ysgubor Harri, Cae ty*n y Gelly, 
Cae*r Gaseg and Wain isha, Ty*n y Gelli, (Uia$ Vradus^ and 
the barn called Ysgubor Harri, Gelly Us. 

** Mountain furze and heath land called Mynydd y Madoc- 
iad, being part of a mountain furze and heath lands called 
Mynydd Baiden. 

«* All of which are granted and released unto Rice Price 
and William Edmunds, their heirs, &c., to the use, &c., of 
the said Anthony Maddocks, until the solemnization of the 
said marriage ; and, after such solemnization, to the use of ^ 
the said Rice Price and William Edmunds, their heirs, &c., 
for and during the full end and term of 99 years. After the 
expiration or surrender of that term, then to the use of 
Anthony Maddocks, junr., for the term of his natural life. 

** After the death of Anthony Maddocks, to the use of Ann 
Thomas, his intended wife, during her natural life ; and after 
her death, to the use of Rice Price and William Edmunds, 
their executors, &c, for the full term of 200 years. After the 
expiration, surrender, or other determination of the term of 
200 years, then to the use of the first son of Anthony 
Maddocks, by his wife Ann Thomas, and the heir male of 
such son ; in default of such issue, to the use of the second 
son of Anthony Maddocks, and the heirs male of his body ; 
and in default of such issue, to the use of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 
6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, loth, and every other son and sons of 
Anthony Maddocks, by his said wife, and for default of such 
issue, tnen in case Ann Thomas shall happen to be enceinte 
with child or children at the time of her husband, Anthony 
Maddocks*s death, to the use of Rice Price and William 
Edmunds, and their heirs, until she shall be delivered of such 
issue, or die, which shall first happen, in trust for such after- 
bom child or children, as they shall happen in priority of birth ' 
and their heirs male.. 

" In default of such issue, to the use of Rice Price and 
William Edmunds, for the term of 500 years ; and immediately 
after the expiration or surrender of the said term of 500 
years, to the use of the said Anthony Maddocks, his heirs and 
assigns for ever. 

** The meaning of the said term and estate as applied to Rice 
Priceand William Edmunds, or their survivor, is, that they 
shall, out of the rents of the premises, &c., raise the yearly 
sum of ;^2o, for the said Catharine Thomas, during her life, 
by four quarterly i>ayments, the first payment to be made on 
the first of August in every year, for her support. After the 
death of Catharine Thomas, the term of 99 years shall become 
void. Should she live with Anthony Maddocks, then the 


«um of ;^io shall only be yearly levied. Anthony Maddocks's 
covenants to pay the annuities as above. The meaning and 
intent of the term of aoo years, as limited to Rice Price and 
William Edmunds, is that they, or their survivors, shall, 
after the decease of Anthony Maddocks and Ann Thomas, 
and the survivors of them, levy and raise a sum not exceeding 
in the whole j^40o, to be distributed among the )rounger 
child or children of Anthony Maddocks by the said Ann 
Thomas, in such a manner as Anthony Maddocks may 
determine by will. And for want of such declaration by 
Anthony Maddopks in writing, then the sum not exceeding 
/400 is not to be raised at all ; and the said term of 200 
years shall cease, and become void ; but in case of such 
declaration, then, after the raising of such money* the said 
term of 200 years shall become void. 

" The meaning and intent oi the term of 500 >^ears to 
Rice Price and Wm. Edmunds is upon trust, that in case 
that there shall be no male issue of the said Anthony 
Maddocks and his wife Ann, or, there beinff male issue, and 
shall happen to die, without heirs male, before attaining the 
ace of 21, and there shall happen to be one or more daughters 
of Anthony Maddocks, and his wife Ann Thomas. 

'* Then the said Rice Price and William Edmunds, or the 
survivor of them, &c., raise after the decease of Anthony 
Maddocks and Ann Thomas, such portions following for the 
daughters : — 

*' In case of one daughter, then the sum of /500 for such 
one daughter to be paid to her at the ai^e of 21 ; in case of 
two daughters thenthe sum o(;^8oo to be divided enually among 
them. (In case Anthony Maddocks and his wife be dead). 
In case of either of them be living, then within six calendar 
months after the death of the survivor of them, and if any 
of the daughters die, before their portions become payable to 
them, then the portions of her or them shall be equally 
divided among their survivor or survivors, to be paid 
at such times as the original portion becomes payable. 
Nevertheless, no one daughter shall by survivorship receive 
more than the above sum* of £500 intended for the portion 
of one daughter. 

** After the above sums of ;^500 and ;^8oo shall be raised, 
together with costs and chargesconnected with the same, or 
in case Anthony Maddocks should pay the sums of ;^500 
and /800 as above during his life, they, the said Rice Price 
and William Edmunds, shall, upon the request ot Anthony 
Maddocks, surrender the said estate and term of 500 years. 


to the said Anthony Maddocks, his heirs, &c., or to such 
person as he or they may direct. 

** It is also agreed that by the intent and meaning of 
the?e presents, the said Anthony Maddocks and Ann Thomas, 
his intended wife, shall have full power and authority by any 
deed or deeds* to demise, lease or grant the said messuages, 
lands, &c., or any other part thereof to any person or persons 
for the term of one and twenty years, or under, or for the 
life or lives of one or two or three persons therein to be 
named, or for any term or number of years determined by 
the death of one, two, or three persons, therein to be named r 
so that such leases granted do not prejudice or impeach 
the estate or term of ninety and nine years, to the 
trustees* interest to raise the said annuity for Catharine 
Thomas during her life. . . • 

" It is also further declared anii agreed, that Anthony 
M^addoicks and Ann/ Thbm:as shall, during.' their joint lives. 
Lave fjuU power, liberty, and authority, and. that it shall be 
lawful for them at any ^^ime during their joint lives by 
any/ deed, or deeds executed by them, tp revoke after, 
change or mak6 void^ all or any* the uses^. limitations and 
est'ates before mentioned (expept the term or/eslate of ninety 
and nine years, lihijted to the trustees to raise the said 
annuity for the sCi'f>portpf the said Caitharihe Thomas), and 
appoint such otheir use, limitation; 'or estate] as they may 
think At, so that the isame does not 'prejudice the said term 
of ninety and nine years. 

*' Anthony Maddocks, junr., covenants for himself, his 
heirs, &c., with' Rice Price and William Edmunds, that the 
said severa]\ messuages, la'nds,, &c., shall continue unto them 
iA' trust for .the uses before mentioned. Subject to the 
"pifovisions also mentioned, free from ' all 'manner of en-' 
^umbfrance . whatsoever, saving an estate ' for the lives of the 
said Anthonv Maddocks; senior, and Ann, his wife, and the 
Burrivors ot them,, which they have' in rights of the said 
premises. . .x. ■. .\ i •■ • .... 

'" And, further, Anthony Maddocks, junr.^ 'his heirs, &c., 
shall; upon' the request of Rice Price and Williatn Edmunds, 
iheir-beirs, &c., execute and convey unto theml their heirs, 
&Cm in trust, all such acts and things aforesaid;' subject to the 
several provisipns mentioned.' 

" Further. * In consideration of the, said . intended mar* 
jriage, and an cqqsideratioa ,of the sum of Ave shillings a piece 
o(,UwAil money, ^c., to them, the said .Catharine Thomas and 
Ann, Thomas, in bpnd, ;by the said RiceJPrice and William 
Ef)mMDds» the' receipt .tlieiteof is* he.reby i^qkQOwledged ; they. 


Catharine Thomas and Ann Thomas, bargain, sell, and 
confirm unto Rice Price and William Edmunds, by in- 
denture bearing date the day next before these presents, for 
the term of one whole year, the dwelling-house wherein the 
:said Catharine Thomas now dwelleth, one bakehouse, one 
barn, cow-house, two orchards, one garden, and tenements of 
land, by estimation fifty acres, commonly called and known 
by the name of Kefn y Gnydfa, lying and being in the 
Hamlet of Baiden, and in the occupation of the said 
Catharine Thomas for the term of 99 years, for such uses and 
purposes hereinafter declared ; and after the expiration or 
.surrender of the said term, then to the use of Anthony 
Maddocks, junr., for and during the term of his natural hfe; 
and after his decease, for the use of Ann Thomas, his intended 
wife, for and during her natural life ; and after her decease, 
to the use of the said Anthony Maddocks, junr., his heirs and 
assigns, for ever* 

** It is hereby declared that the intent and meaning of 
these presents is, that the term and estate limited to Rice 
Price and William Edmunds, for ninety-nine years, by 
Catharine Thomas and Ann Thomas, is upon the same 
special trust as the term and estate limited to the trustees 
concerning, and by Anthony Maddocks, junr., for the 
further securing of the annuity of ;f20, or £10 to Catharine 
Thomas, during her hfe. The annuity having been paid, 
then the said term of 99 years shall become void. 

*' Further. In consideration of the said intended mar* 
riage, Catharine Thomas and Ann Thomas covenant with 
the said Rice Price and William Edmunds, their heirs, &c., 
that they, Rice Price and Williaui Edmunds, shall surrender, 
within one month next ensuing the date of these presents, into 
the hands of the Lady of the respective manor of Tythegstone 
and Newton Nottage, according to the custom of the said 
manor respectively, all their lands, tenements, &c., holden 
of the said manors by Copy of Court Roll, to the use 
of Anthony Maddocks, junr.; and the said Anthony 
Maddocks, junr., covenants with the said Rice Price and 
William Edmunds, that in case Ann Thomas should die 
within one year next after the said marriag:e without issue, 
he shall repay and refund to Catharine Thomas, if she be 
alive, the sum of ;^ioo, part of the portion of the said Ann 
Thomas, within one year after the death of the said Ann 
Thomas without issue, as aforesaid. But if Catharine 
Thomas be not then alive, then the > /loo are not to be paid 
to any person whatsoever. 

"Provided, always, that if the said intended marriage 


shall not take effect, that these presents shall cease» and be 
void to all intents and purposes. Whereof the said parties 
have to these present severally and interchangably put their 
hands and seals the day, month, and year first above written. 


Catharine X ThomaSt 
Rica pRica. William Edmunds. 

Scaled and delivered in the I acknowledge to have received, 

presence of the day of the date within wrilteo 

Thomas Powbll. deed, the sum of five hundred pounds, 

AVm. Maddocks* being the consideration money within 

Evan Maddocks. mentioned. 

Thomas Lewis. As witness my hand, 

Signed and acknowledged in the presence of 

Thomas Powbll. 
\Vm. Maddocks. 
Thomas Lbwis. 

Some time previous to the marriage, Will Hcpkin, it is^ 
recorded, met his beloved Ann, accompanied by her motherr 
at Bridgend, on a market day, while they were pur* 
chasing the wedding garments, and other necessaries for 
the coming event ; when he had the consolation, if such it 
was, to learn that she was far from being in the happy state 
of mind one could have expected from a bride elect, when 
the course of love runs smooth. Ann failed even to conceal 
from Will the depth of her sorrow, for she is described by 
her bard lover, as having the tears in her eyes ; but whether 
it was her sympathy for Will, or pity for herself, or the 
thought of mairying one she could not love which made her 
weep, we are not. informed. At all events, we find recorded 
in the Parish Registers the following entry : — 

" Antonius Maddocks, Gen., et Ann Thomas, Ambo, 
de Llangonwyd, in matrimonia conjuncti fuerunt quint die 
Maii, 1725." 

There is no doubt but that great preparations had been 
made by Mrs. Thomas at Cefn Ydfa, in order that the mar- 
riage of her only daughter with the young Maddocks, of 
Cwmyrisga, should receive the attention it deserved, and the 
little village of Llangynwyd must have been on such an 
occasion the scene of great rejoicing, for when such res- 
pectable weddings took place in those days, and when some 
of the richest inhabitants were married, they were known to* 
give as much as six pounds in beer, a pound for each bellr 
which were always rung, the ringing commencing when 
the wedding party were leaving the Church, and continuing 
at intervals throughout the day. 


We may venture to sayi though great the rejoicing which 
might have taken place in the old village, Will Hopkin was 
not among the company; and at Cefn Ydfa, we may £airly 
surmise that the young wife appreciated but little the con- 
gratulations of her relations and friends upon an event which 
proved fatal to all her hopes and expectations, and indeed, if 
tradition may be depended upon, an event that weighed so 
heavily upon her as to bring her to an untimely grave. As 
to the married life oi Mr. and Mrs. Maddocks, we have no 
knowledge, excepting a few oral traditions, which are suffi- 
cient to convince us that very little real happiness was 
enjoyed at Cefn Ydfa, for she made no effort to conceal her 
love for Will, even after her marriage, which, in course of a 
little over two years, brought her to a state of insanity, in 
which state her cries were continually for Will Hopkin. 

It is said that Will, after her marriage, did not stay in the 
neighbourhood, but went to Bristol to work; whether he 
corresponded with anyone at Llangynwyd while he was 
away is not known, but there was a tradition among the old 
people who lived in the neighbourhood about fifty years ago, • 
that one night while at Bristol, he had a most extraordinary 
dream, which caused him the next morning to leave the place 
at once for Llangynwyd. He had dreamt that the detested 
Anthony Maddocks was dead, but he returned to be again 
sadly disappointed. When he reached home, he found 
Anthony Maddocks still living, but his beloved Ann was in 
the pangs of insanity and death. 

When it was communicated to Mr. Maddocks and Mrs.' 
Thomas, that Will was in the neighbourhood, he was sent 
for immediately, to see whether his presence would alleviate 
her sufferings and stop her cries, which had become by this 
time heartrending to those who had watched her duting her 
last illness. It was said by some that while he was going up 
the stairs leading to her bedroom, that she heard his voice, 
and died before he had reached the side of her bed. An- 
other tradition states that when she saw him after he was intro- 
duced into her room, that she sprang into his arms, and died in 
hi.n embrace. If the following lines attributed to Will Hopkin 
bear reference to his introduction to her on her death-bed, 
the later tradition must be the correct one :— 

" Teb>'gswn i'm afaelyd yo fy anwylyd weo. 
A'i gwasgu dair. gwaith drosodd beb ddywed^d gair o*m mhen ; 
Hi roddai gusan melus, mwyn melus ar fy mio, 
Yn gymwys beb ei gymbell, oedd gaawaith well na*r gwin.** 

This closing scene undoubtedly afforded great consolation 
to Wiirs mmd, .after thd torture he must have suffered, and 


to have her in his arms while breathing her last was to him 
more than all the worki> beside*: But to young Maddocks^ 
and especially her mother, it was the overflowing of their 
cup of remorse. Mrs. Thomas's feelings at this time might 
be better imagined than described, for she had lost her aU, 
excepting her paltry allowance of ten or twenty pounds a 
year, a position Will Hopkins did not scruple to remind her 
of, a little after her daughter's death. Meeting her at> 
Bridgend, he twitted her^ <*that he still had his hammer 
and trowel, while she could not boast of a daughter or an 
heiress ": he no doubt at this time considered himself her 
equal. One daughter was the otily issue of this marriage, 
who was buried a little before her ill-fated, mother. The 
remains of the once fair Maid were .interred in the same 
grave as that of her father and brother, in the Chancel 
of Llangynwyd Church, where may be seen the following 

"Here lieth the body of Ann, the wife of Anthony Mad- 
docks, died June 1 6th, 1727." 

The Parish Registers also record her burial as follows:—^ 

'* Anna uxor Antonii Maddoch^ gen,^ .uftdta fuii decimo sexto 
die Tuniit 1727." 

.People from many lands, at different times, have visited 
this grave, which is distinguished from all others by fresh 
garlands of flowers being placed every week upon it from the 

Will, as may be expected, never married, and survived 
only fourteen years after Mrs. Maddocks. Neither did he 
quit the neighbourhood, but remained with his mother at 
Llangynwyd Village, and followed his occupation as tiler and 
plasterer. It is said that while engaged upon a house at 
Llangewydd, he fell off a ladder, and never recovered from * 
the effect of his fall. The following anecdotd which has 
come down to us through the lips of lolo Morganwg, gives us 
an idea as to the state of his ' mind in his later days : — 
*' Standing on the door of his house, which was . situated near 
where the * Comer House * stands at present, an old acquain- 
tance of his came by, and invited him to go with, him to the 
^ Old Houu Tavem,* which was only a few score yards from 
where they stood, and join him in a pint of ale.* Will replied, 
quoting a phrase from Scripture, ' I had rather be a door- 
keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of 
wickedness.* " "' ' '; 

* it is still the custom in this part for two or three, or even moiie.*to no 
I a public house and drink from the same pint, piying for the be^ m 


His death took place on the 19th of August, 1741, and 
his remains were put to rest close to the western yew tree in 
Llangvnwyd Churchvard, over which a decent headstone 
was placed, bearing the following inscription :«- . 

•*Hm lieth the body of WUliam Hopkio. deceaied tlie 19th day of 
Augott. 1741, aged 40 yearn" 

And the following epitaph, the first stanzas composed by his 
bereaved mother, and the two last lines said , to have been 
Added by the Vicar of the Parish, the Rev. Morgan Thomas :-^ 
" Dyma'r lie gole gwelwch«'rwy*a gonvedd, 
Dan gaerau pob tristwch ; 
Os tirion chwi ystyriwch. 
Lleyg a lien, llawen a*n llwch* 

••Nid yw*r hoUfyd byf^d bedd, 
A'i fwriad ond oferedd.*' 

Unfortunately, the above headstone was cut up and made 
use of by some Goth as a foundation for a tomb over the 
same grave which was subsequently used by one who owned 
relationship with Will Hopkin, previous to the advent of the 
present Vicar A few years ago, when this tomb was 
taken down, the fragments were recognised by the inscription 
upon them, which had not been altogether obliterated ; and Dn 
Joseph Parry, happening to visit Llangynwyd at the time, his 
attention was drawn to these fragments, and he asked per- 
mission from the Vicar to carry them into the chancel, which 
was granted, and he placed them near the sepulchre of the 
Maid. All of Will Hopkin s*s compositions, which we have 
;been able to collect, are given in another chapter, consisting 

a few songs, and some fragments. 

Immediately after the death of the young and unfortunate 
Maid, Mr. Anthony Maddocks set about building himself a 
suitable Mansion, beside the house in which the Thomases 
lived. It was completed some time in the year 1728, and he 
very soon took to himself another wife, by whom, according 
to the Parish Registers, he had three daughters, one of which 
died in infancy. His daughter Catherine married Phillip 
Williams, Esq., Cadoxton, Tuxta-Neaih, and Margaret 
became the wife of the Rev. Mathew Deere, of Ash Hall. 
It appears that the latter inherited her father's landed estate, 
and her daughter again became heiress of the Ash Hall estate, 
and married Sir Digby Mackworth. which accounts for the 
Cefn Ydfa property being vested in that family. 

Anthony Maddocks, of Cwmyrisga, died in 1730, and his 
practice as a lawyer was carried on by his son and heir of Cefn 
Ydfa. In the ^^ar 1731, we find that he was actively 
•engaged as a solicitor, transacting business for some of the 


leading families in Glamor^^anshire, as his accounts show- 
We append at the end of this chapter a few ol the most 
interesting entries from his ledger, dating from 1731 — 1746. 
Mr. Maddocks died i6tli December. 1764, in the sixty- 
ninth year of his age, and his second wife, £lizabeth»^ 
surviv^ him only a few years, her death taking place oor 
2ist April, 1767, being 57 years of age. 

Extracts from Anthony Maddocks*s Lbdgbr. 

**Pnsteif;» Session, March, 1731: — 

** Edward Morgan, of Ystradyfodwg, debtor to Anthony 

'* Edward Morgan against Lady Gwyn. 
Bfuon Session, April, 1731 : — 

*'The Right Hon. Thomas, Lord Mansell, debtor to 
Anth. Maddocks. 

*' Lord Mansell against Morgan Gibbon. 

£ s* ^- 

''John Watkins, of Bristol, debtor to A. 

" For drawing and ingrossing deed from 
David Yorath and his wife to him, parchment 
and duty ... ••• ... ox ox o 

**Mr. Jenkin Thomas, Newton Nottage, 
debtor to A. Maddocks. 

'' For trouble and expense in receiving 
/400, and pacing same to sundrv creditors, &c. 05 05 o 

" For my journey and attendance at Hensol, 
to offer lands to Mr. Talbot, on the 27th Sept., 
X731 ... ... ... ... ... 01 ox o 

'* Mrs. Anne Lougher Knight, debtor to A. 

'* For making .an abstract of Thomas 
Leyson*s will ' ... ... ... ... 00 10 o 

•• For my journey to Tythegstone with my 
clerk, and attendance thereon, to make the 
inventory of Mrs. Kate Lougher, deceased, and 
for making the inventory ... ••• ••• 02 02 o^ 

" Jonatnan NicoU, of St. Donatts, debtor to 
A. Maddocks. 

'* Jonathan Nicol, at the suit of Howell 
Hopkin, in the Exchequer. 

" David Watkins, of Nolton, account how 
the purchase money for the 14 acres of land at 
Bridgend, were paid him, ••Purchase money ••• 280 00 oo- 


** The Right Hon. Thomas, Lord Mansell, by the order 
of Mr, Watkin Jenkins, debtor to A. Maddocks. 

" Lord Mansell against Morgan Waters and his wife, in 
covenant to levy a piece of land in Kenfig. 

** Received from Richard Gwyn, Esq., by 
my clerk, Thomas Edmunds, towards my fees 
and disbursements, &c. ... ... ••• xo 00 oo' 

•' Mr. Edward Wilkins, of Wick, debtor to A. Maddocks* 

*' Wilkins against Flew and others, in Chancery. 

** Mr. Wm. Mathews, of Swansea, and Mr. Thos. Brown, 
the same, debtor to A. Maddocks. 

" Mathews & Brown, at the suit of Vaughan and his 
wife, in Chancery of the Great Sessions, for the County of 
Glamorgan, Brecon and Radnor. 
Variations Mow April Sessions, 1735. 

"Sir John Aubrey, against Edmund Lloyd and William 
Lloyd, in Chancery. 

'* Mr. Richard Jenkins, of Corrwg Fechan, and Mr. Grifiith> 
Jenkins, his son, debtor to A. Maddocks. 

'* For drawing and ingrossing Mortgage from 
Richard Jenkins, of Merth yTj to them, of lease 
and release ... ... .,. ... oz zz 6 

** For drawing and ingrossing Bond to per- 
form Covenant, &c. ... .. ... 04 2 

z 15 8 

" The Portreeves and Burgesses of Avan, debtor to A. 

'*The Portreeves and Burgesses, at the suit of Jane 
Thomas, and Robert Thomas, infant, in the Chancery of the 
Great Sessions. 

" George Williams, of Aberpergwm, Esq., and Griffith 
David, debtor to Anthony Maddocks, 8th July, I735. 

" To journey to Maindy, to take instructions 
for the settlement of their son and daughters- 
two days ... ... ... ... ••• oz ox 00 

''Ann Jenkins, of Bettws, debtor to A. Maddocks. 

**Ann Jenkins, against Watkin Gamage and John 
Griffiths, in debt on Bond. 

'*Illtyd Evans, Esq., debtor to A. Maddocks, against 
Mathew Grant. 

*' Notice, Copy, and Service ... ... 4 a 

" Cost levied for entering judgment ... ... 02 8 o 

Received by a Bond of Edward Baker •«• £2 za o* 


"Catherine Jenkins, of New Castle, debtor to A. 
Haddocks* »j . .:•. • 

" 29th July, 1736. My journey to Newcastle, 
t>eing called out of bed by her servant, Griffith, - "^^^ 

about twelve at night ... oz 01 " 00 

"Tourney to Newcastle the day-time ... .05 00 

"Mr. Lewis Sanders, debtor to A. Maddocks. n ^ >*'''' 

** For drawing Deed of Purchase by way of 
release from Jenkin Thomas and others to Mr. 
Lewis Sanders, with special Covenant, &c. ... oz oz 00 

''Drawing Deed and Mortgage from Mr. 
Sanders to Mr. John Bradford, &c. .•• .... oz 05 06' 

*' Miles Bassett, Esq., debtor to A. Maddocks. 

«« For drawing Deed and Mortgage from M. Bassett to 
Sir John Aubrey, Baronet, for £^10, 

" Samuel Price, of Tynton, debtor to A. Maddocks, 
Vacation afUf Sessions, Angust, iy±i. 

"John Lewis, by the order ot Mr. Samuel Price against 
AValter Coffin, in debt. 

" Samuel Price, executor of Rees Price, against Waltei^ 
Coffin. I 

" Mr. Thomas Collins, debtor to A. Maddocks. 

" For drawing Contract and assign the Mortgage to Mr. 
Samuel Price. 

" For drawing an assignment of the Mortgage by way of 
lease and release. 

" Drawing a Schedule of Deeds, Writings, and two fair . 
copies, &c. 

'* The Right Hon. Thomas (Lord Mansell), debtor tp. A. 

"Journey to survey the Manor of North Cornelly, and to 
inquire into the custom of the manor as to heriots. 

." Journey and attendance to show mv lord the particulars 
thereof, and to endeavour to settle with Mr. David Edmunds.- 

" Drawing deed of assignment of a mortgage from the 
executors of Robert Llewelyn, and Dr.Turberville,and his son 
intrust, for my Lord Manseil, oi the Manor of North Cornelly. 

" Drawing a grant of annuity from my Lord Mansell to 
Mr. Thomas Cardon, his servant. 

"Journey to Margam, and attendance to settle matters 
about Mr. David Edmunds, and going to Kenfig to survey 
Mr. Humphreys's lands. Ditto drawing a surrender of Old 
Park lease to my Lord Mansell. 

" Drawing deed of purchase from Dr. Turberville, his wife, 
and son, of the Manor of North Cornelly, and cottages there, 
^c, &c/* 


Local Pom>^WiU Hopkin.«Pbillip Rowland.— John Brtdford.— Davids 
Nicholai.— The WUliams* Umily of Brynyfra— Will o'r VoeL— Siams 
Twrbll, ftc— Llewelyn David, ^ Uwyni. and Jack y got 

fT is to be regretted that the many attempts which have 
been made to. collect into one volume the compositions 
of Will . Hopkih, have hitherto been without real success. 
Amon^. ...the literati who have made this attempt was 
Taliesm ah lolo, who visited |[^langynwyd for this purpose, 
buf who died bisfore this task was accomplished. All our 
efforts in this direction mus^ result only in the unearthing of 
fragments, and a few sopgs. The muse of the humble bard 
was so readvi and her shafts so incisive, that he wrote t)ut 
little. His ideas, too, were clothed in the local idiom, and. 
lose much of their beauty, even if altered into grammatical 
Welsh,.and befcome things of> nought if turned into English. 
We have, ihowever, collected of ' these fragments many that,* 
when appreciatively read in view of the circumstances that 
called them forth, will show in bright colours the wit and 
genius of one who, under happier circumstances, would have 
made a great name (or. himself, and for the humble scenes 
where he was born and lived. , 

Foremost,, in interest of course,, will be those verses 
bearing reference to his tll*starred love for Ann Thomas, the 
unhappy Maid of Cefn Ydfa. 

* 'The following is an impromptu uttered while he walked 
with *' The Maid '* up the hill leading from the main road to 
Cefn Ydfa:- « ^ 

** Mae*r , tyla hwo yn ddyfal, 

A'Aoa'tt fyr. fy ana*I; 
Os caf fi nertb, mi ddof i*r Un, 
•• '^'^ ' .A .Dghartad dan .fy ngbeia'l.'* 

The followidg 'stane'as,-^written on meeting his beloved 
Ann at 'Bridgend with her mother, and observing them 
buying th(^^ garments in which she was to be married to* 
the detested' Anthony Maddocks, — ^picture clearly his griei 
at the sight, and his regret fof his own penniless state, and 
lowly lineage :— " . - l ' ' ; ' 

**Vn Mhao-y-Bodt ar ddydd y farchnad. 
Cwrdd*4 oghariad wpawn yo broda; 
'Roedd yn pryau siwt briodas . 
▲*r dyfoiyn ar ei grudd;^ 


Eisia ewndra, eisiapwrsia, 

Eisia pethau oeda aroa i| 
Pe buasai rhai*n ond geny*. 

Byth ni eUa*r gwr a hi.** 

And this is full of revengeful passion against Ann Llewelyn, 
the servant who betrayed his sweet and stolen interviews 
with his mistress : — 

**Mae Ann. Llewelyn felen 
Yn fy marnu drach fy nghefn, 
Ood ni all wella'm gwedd a'm gwaith, 
Y neidr fraith annibeo.*' 

Next in interest to these, are his apostrophes to scenes 
.and objects with which he was familiar in his native village. 
These are remembered and quoted now very frequently. 

A sarcastic prophecy referring to the inhabitants of 
Llan :'— 

""Pan fyddo'r Llan yn llawen, 

Heb falais na chenfigeo ; 
Bydd mh\ yn tarddu ma's o*r cwir 
A ffigys a'r y ddraeoen." 

* We have obtained a free translation of the ioUowin^, 
referring to the bells of Llangynwyd Church, by which it will 
at once be evident how much of the original is lost in the 

"Caru wyf ar hirnos gaua,' 
Sain peroriaetb swn y clycha*: — 
Rbai sydd addas rhwng oiynyddau, 
Wycb chwiorydd, chwecb yn cbwaraa.** 

"When the winter night is stealing, 
Sweet to hear glad music pealing :-~ 
From yon bells in concert ringing, 
'Mid the bills, like minstrels singing." 

To LaUstcu Bells* 

"Ar ben y twyn mi safas, 
• Ad yno mi feddylia's ; 
Nad oedd crwth, na miwsig gwych, 
A gurai glych Trelalas.*' 

But ^Vill Hopkin is at his best in ready and acute retort, — 
the practice which has existed among prydyddhn for imme- 
morial ages, to excel herein, it was necessary to be possessed 
of keen wit, ready resource, and an unlimited command of 
rhyme. That Will possessed these qualifications is evident 
from the following. It appears that he had completed the 
flooring of a pigstye at Llangynwyd— and was surprised 
exultantly dancing upon the new-laid flags by his old friend 
Phillip Rowland— who thus addressed him :— - 

**Mi welas WUliam Hopkin, 
Yn dawnsio'n dal beb delyn; 


Heb no crwth aa lie idd d gad 
Ar dwkyn gwad y mochya." 

To which Will immediately responded :— 

*'Fy ffrynd a*m cyCaill cryao^ 
Y twlc oedd Mwydd lorio ; 
O lechi clir ar wyneb dii. 
Pwy all'iai lai aa dawasio." 

It it said that on one occasion Will Hopkin attended an 
Eisteddffid-at^erthyij--and was desirous that his presence 
there should not~~M known. He was, howeveri soon 
discoveredi and addressed as follows by one of the bards, 
present :— - 

'*WiU ffodi o wlad y gyrcbea 

Cais dAa i doddi'th awea, 
Mae wedi rhewi— tyn bi*o rbydd, 
Mewa Hot ar f>Bydd Baidea" 

Will Hopkin was equal to the emergency, and without a 
imoment's hesitation, replied as follows : — 

"Fa rbewa'r de a*r dwyrea, 

O amgylcb gwlad y nTcbea; 
Pe rhewa'r 'derya ar ei nyth, 
Ni rhewa bytb mo'f awea." 

It should be noted, in passing, that it was a recognised 
rule among these primitive poetasters, that the reply or 
retort, to be perfect, must be in the same rhythm and 
metre as the question or rebus. It will be seen that in this 
respect, also. Will proved himself proficient* 

Working at Marcross on one occasion — he was in the 
habit of spending Sunday at home, and proceeding to his 
work on Monday morning, laden with his week's provender, — 
he was met thus burdened by his employer one Monday 
morning and was thus greeted : — 

*' Mi welas rhvw gardotya, 

Ac ar ei geia gwtyn ; 
Ac ya ei law ef bastwa drum, (Mmnui) 

Ya Bgbaool Spring y flwyddya.** 

It will be seen that the intention was to disconcert 
Will by comparing him to a beggar, with bludgeon in hand, 
and a bag of broken victuals on back. Will nothing discon* 
certed, turned the tables, by a bold allusion to his employer's 
ruddy nose, and well-beloved quid of tobacco :— 

" Paa ddaetb y gwalcb ya agos, 
Fe stopia'a Mheatre Marcross, 
*Roedd jo tobacco'a gil ei foch« 
A'i drwya nior goch a'r ceiros.** 

The following is an instance in which Will was the 
agressor or questioner«.his interlocutor being the well-known 


John Bradford, of Bettws. The bards had met on the top o 
a steep hillock near *' Pandy'r Bettws** It would appear that 
Bradford was interested in- the Fdin Bdn (fulling mill) at 
this place* which Will thus ridicules :— 

•*Y tyU hwn y*in torwi, ^^ 

Mae'n ddyled imi orphwysri 
'Rwyf wedi myned lawn mor mka^ 
'. .1 )••:". K Ifelin Ban y BettwiL" 

Bradford's ttply ran thus :-— < 

; '*Ma6 Melin-B^n v Bettws, 

Yn ce^dded yn ddbrphwyt i* ' 
A'r felin ihX, ni ^n i p'am, 
Ni chdr an cam yn gymwys." ,, 

It will be well perhaps that our English readers should not 
he entirely forgotten. The following rebus, sent by David 
Nicholas, of Aberpergwm, to Will, is rendered into English 
for their benefit, as an illustrsttlon of the custom of " rhyming 
riddles," to which we have made allusion. The translation is 
by Mr. R. D. Morgan c*- 

** My love gave me a cherry that. in it had no fctone. 
And fed me on a wondrous fowl, whose, flesh couceAled no bone ; 
And wrapived me in a b)anket' warm, where ne'er had been a thread. 
And shewed me a 'strange myalic book, that ne'er a man had read.'* 

Will Hopkin^s reply to which was as follows :— 

**My cherries bear no stones when they blossom on the tree, 
When fowl lies in the new Uid egg, no bone we look to see; 
When blankets are but new shorn fleece, we look not there for thread, 

.. ;rui %ronls aro'written on, a book, words ma^ not thefei be read." 

• It' is characteristic of the time in which oUr (peasant-poet 
lived, that 'even he, with hisfine 6ensibilities,:rich gifts, and 
high- a^irations,^ lajd weight upon his creature comforts> 
even when these were of a sort which poets are usually deemed 
too ethereal and refined to care for. LikerShakespeare, *' His 
virtues were hi& own, his faults those of his time." Witness 
his lament when ononeoctas^idn he was compelled to exist . 
in the (to him) inhospitable "parish of Margam— without 

it\**6#ae fi,na bawn i beno 
RhWng .Margfeim a X^langrallo ; 
,1. f Yn Drelal^s^ luniaidd lawn . ;.,, ,\ 
**■ ' Lie gwn'y cawn wir roeso. . .* .,; 

**Mi gercldais '^argam drwyddo^ 

Am bibed o dobacco ; 
Mi gofia'n dda tra pern foes, 
. Ce's.dori'm lees yn Orgro.** 

• And thus he commemorates what .must have been a right 
jovial carouse, jifhich* he^jenjpyed in the company of David 


Nicholas, elsewhere referred to, who was the family bard of 
Aberpergwm. The scene was, it appears, Wenvoe Castle :— 

«Mi welM fyd tr friRyo, 
Ar Deio a Will Hopkio ; 
Yfed gwin yn M*Us Gwaen-fa^ 
Mcwn coepyn o gyrnocyD.*** 

Next we have a stanza which embodies Will's resolution 
never to work, or do a hand's turn for Anthony Maddocks,the 
husband of i\kt beloved Maid, or any of his family ;— 

** Trm pbigatt sr y ddrienog. 
A gwenith a 'sgyfartiog ; 
A pbia brith yn bildo'i nytb. 
Wna'i bwytbyn bytb i'r Maddock." 

And after the death of the broken-hearted maid, when Mr. 
Maddocks married for the second time, Will addressed Mrs* 
Thomas thus :— 

"Dygatocb fywyd dau ar uowaitb. 
Heblaw colli eicb mab yn nghytraitb.** 


Mvpi sydd fachften ifaoc fibl, 

Yn caru'n ol fy fiansi; 
Mi yn bugeilio'r m^enitb gwya, 

Ac •»!! yn ei fedi : 
O p'am na ddeui ar fy ol, 

Rbyw ddydd ar ol ei gilydd, 
Gwaetb 'rwy'n dy wel'd, y feinir facb, 

O glanacb, lanacb, beunydd. 

O glanacb. lanacb. vryt bob dydd, 

Neu fi sy'm ffydd yn flblacb; 
Er mwyn y Gwr a vrnaetb dy wedd, 

Gwna i'm drugaredd bellach t 
O cwyd dy ben, gwel oco draw, 

Rbo I mi'tb law, Wen dirion, 
Gwaetb vn dy fynwes berth ei thro, 

Mae allwedd clo f> nghalon. 

Mi godais heddyw gydaV wawr, 

Gan frysio'n fawr iy'm Uudded, 
Fel cawn gusaoa llun dy droed, 

Ftt'r hyd y coed yn cerdded: 
O cwyd fy mhcn o'r galar maith, 

A aerchus iaitb gwarineb. 
Gwaetb rnwy na'r byd i'r neb a'th gar, 

Yw golwg ar dy wyneb. 

A Drinking Horn. 


Tra b'o dw*r y in6r yn ballt, 

A thra bo *ngwalU yn tyfu. 
A thra b*o caloa dan ty mron, 

Mi fydda'n ffyddlon i ti: 
O dywed i mi'r gwir dan gll, 

A rho dan sil atebion. 
P'nn ai myfi, nea arall, Wea, 

Sydd orvtt gan dy galon 7 

TrMmlaiii by Mrs, Pindrtt LUwtfyn, 

A SIMPLE youthful swain am I. 

Who loves at fancy's pleasnra; 
I fondly watch the blooming wheat, 

Aad other reaps the treasure : 
Oh I wherefore still despise my suit, 

Why pining keep thy lover? 
For some new charm, thou matchless fair, 

I day by day discover. 

Each day reveals some new-born grace, 

Or does fond faith deceive me? 
In love to Him who formed thy face, 

With pity now receive me. 
Oh ! raise thine eyes — one look bestow. 

Yield, yield thine hand, my fairest; 
For in thy bosom, witching maid, 

My heart's sole key thou bearest. 

In deepest woe this day I rose, 

And sped at morning's gloaming 
To kiss each spot where thy fair foot 

Had in yon grove been roaming. 
Oh t raise my head bowed down with grief. 

With kindest accents speaking. 
Than worlds more dear is thy one glance 

To him whose heart is breaking. 

While hair adorns my aching brow, 

This heart will beat sincerely, 
Whilst ocean rolls its bnny flow, 

So long I'll love thee dearly: 
Oh t tell the truth, in secret tell, 

And under seal disco\'er, 
Jf it be I— or who is blest, 

As thy pare heart's bait lover. 



Ton i-^^'Gweii y FwjfMr 

Dbwch yn nil. fy boll gyfoSUion. 

Ohwi gewcb g\y^td cbwedl freoloa, 

Fa *nawr yn bwyr yn mblwyf Uaogyawyd 1 

Fa dim yi oejoedd sain o'r ansttCi 

Wrtb dy'r Vicar lAn. %,tstA\%— 

Meistr Morgan Tbomos ddiddig* 

Nos G'UDKaual— dyna*r aoiter^ 

Y ba'r frwydr gaWn Uoegr. 

Yr oedd can y gwr parchedig, 
Yn yr ailadd, darw fTyrnig. 
Gwedi ei dewbaa'n afrifed; 
Idd ei ladd y gwysiwyd bagad; 
Hwy grynboitant, medd baneiioa, 
Yn na barfau megvs glewion. 
I gael Uadd yr eidion Uydan 
Mor ddidraflertb a Uygoden. 

Crynboi i gyd yn ngbyd a wnaetboo* 

Vt cae lle'r oedd y tarw crealon, 

I>ecbrett rhagod o bob ochor 

Nes ei g%^ i mewQ i'r 'sgubor; 

Yno'r aeth bi'n bid o'r mwyal— ^ 

Pwy o gaot anturiai gvntaf 

i ddodi'r rliaflf yn graflf, yn gan'-plyg. 

An ei fferau— 'r eidion Ayr nig. 

Y cyntaf gwr anturiodd atn 
Oedd y cigydd c'ruaidd cryno— 
Hywcl Thomas dan ei enw — 
Fii mewn taro wrth g'iymu'r tarw; 
'Nol ei gael ef dan ei rwyma'. 
Hi aeth vn ble pwy d'rawai gynU' ; 
Tyngai Dafydd Niclas cbwipyn— 
**Mi a'i t'rawaf lawr yn sopyn.'* 

Yna gwaeddai'r cigydd ffet-gall*^ 
•<• Dal dy law, y dyn diddeall, 
Nid oes uodyn ar y ddae'ran, 
Own, a'i tery'n well na'm bunan;*' 
Odd ei law fe rodd y coler 
Oedd am gyrnau'r eidion 'sgeler; 
Chwi gewch ((lywed, gyda hyny, 
Ffysto clau, fel dau fa'i'n dyrna. 

•Nol hir ddyrnu. ya y diwedd 
]fe ro'w'd vr eidion yn ei orwedd, 
A*r holl w^r a gwympant arno, 
Dan ei bwtian d'u traed a'u dwylo; 
he dynga«*r cigydd Iwon garw — 
•• K'le'r aeth y fciden bona— Virtw ? 
Paham na ddaw A'r Uestr, chwipyn, 
1 ^dderbyn g^\-aed yr eidion 'fg>manf'* 


Cwni'r Uewys, hogi*r gyllell. 
I fyn'd •! geg yr. eidion diffaeth; 
Ond cyn gweled gwaed v tarw, 
Ar ei dreed fe tieidia'n boew; 
Chwi gaech weled, gyda hyoy, 
Gan y cigydd. gilio giaisgi: 
Ni throw* yn oi ei wyneb, druan. 
Nes oedd yn ochor Coed y Cefan. 

*Ddiar ei ytkt fe daflai'r tarw 
Gati Niclas, gyda Virtw, 
I ben y feisgawD, yn dre flyroig: 
Hwy fuon' yDo'n hir mewn iiewyg; 
Fe dawlws Nani HuttoD, druan, 
*Ddiar ei gyrn i ben y ddreenan i 
Hi fu ynoji btr yn hongied 
Cyn t undyn byw ei gweled. 

Meiatres Mari Thomoa weddaidd, 
With wel'd yr eidion can, angh'ruaidf^ 
Yn tawltt'r rhei'ny mor ddiarbed. 
Griai'n cbwipyn — '* Cilia, Margedl" 
A cbyda'r gair, rredd cerdded boew 
I'r Ian i ben y Pedair Erw, 
I Goed y Pare, fel ewig wisgi, 
Rbag i'r urw ddyfod ati. 

Hywel Bach a Thwm ab ICan 
Aeth i'r Ian i Fynydd Batdan, 
'Ddiyno lawr i Gwm Cildeudyz 
Hwy fuon' yno'n hir yn llechu, 
Nea i hen-wraig ddyfod htibio. 
A gwel'd V bechgyn bron yn trigo; 
Hi dd'wedai fod yr eidion hynod 
GwediH ladd cr's tri div^rnod. 

Ni aafws un o'r gw^r heb giliaw, > 
Ond Dafydd Miclas a Thwm Mathaw; 
William Lewys--dyna'r trydydd 
Fynwi weled ei ddienydd; 
Ni ddaeth .undyn i Paeacadlawr, 
Yn hyd wvthnoa, gwn, neu regor, 
N«a dywed fod yr eidion llydan 
Gan Feiatrea Thomoa yn yr halen. 

Y mae'r cigydd, dyn a'i helpo, 
Vn fawr ei gryd yn pare eto ; 

Mae 'fe*n gwedyd, medd y dyn xn 
Nad i'r ofn fyth o'i galon ; 
Fe fu'n hwy na chwe' diwrnod i 
Yn ei ben ni throws ei dafod; 

Y cyntaf gair ddywedai'n groew, 
Oedd— *' Cadwed Duw fi rhag y tarw/ 

Ac oa gofyn neb trwy'r j>arthaa 
. Pwy a gi^nodd hyn o etrian 
« Nid oes achos dyweyd ei enw. 

Rhag et drin yn waeth na'r urw;- 


Ei 'wyllyt yw t'r Vicar mwvoaf 


Geiiio gw^r i*r liaddfa 

F'ai gwroiacb betb oa'r rh«i^y, 
Rhtf i ddynioii %mA drygiool 

TrsmskUd bjf Afn. Ptniril JUErw/jM. 

Draw dcat mjr friends— list while I tell 
A tristful tale of what befel 
In Cynwyd's parish aught to dear 
Has seldom chanced in any year. 
By the vicar's house of holy fame 
Oood Morgan Thomas is his name) 
'»n All Soul's eve there was a sight 
Which beau all English battles quite. 

This reverend man had in his mead 
A buU as fierce as battle steed, 
Which being fat as beast e'er stalled. 
A host to slay him soon were called. 
They gathered there, so runs the tale. 
Like heroes clad in battle mail, 
To kill this beast of monstrous fat 
As quickly as they would a rat 

All mustered there in bold array, 
This well fed savage bull to slay. 
Forth from the field he's quickly dodged. 
And in the barn at last is lodged; 
And then arose a wordy row. 
Who would be bold enough -and how? 
To cast the rope in trim complete 
About the furious monster's feet. 

The first who ventured on tbat feat 
W*as he most fit— the butcher neat. 
Well known as Howeil Thomas here. 
Who did perform this deed of fear. 
' This being done, the beast is tied. 
And each to strike him first then vied. 
Said David Nicholas with an oath, 
** I'll knock the rascal down i' troth." 

• Then roared the knowing butcher out, 
** Hold ! hold thy band thou lazy lout. 
There breathes no man beneath the sky. 
Will knock him down so well as I." 
Soon from his hand the rope is let. 
Which round his hideous horns was set, 
And then were heard such rapid knocks 
As thrashers deal on wheaten shocks I 

Repeated blows brought down at last 
This bloated bull of measure vast : 
On this the heroes, one and all, 
With tooth and nail upon him fall: 
Then swore the butcher in a pet, 
"Where is tbat Virtue I vile coquette? 
Why bricgs she not the pail with apeed. 
That I this cursed beast may bleed?'* 


With sharpened knife-^with »nrs all btred. 
To itick his neck he was prepared, 
But e'er he scratched the bleeding veiui 
Up on his feet jumps bull again I 
Then might be seen with rapid stnde, 
The butcher hasting oflf to hide, 
Nor did be turn his face I ween 
Till Coed y Cefen did him screen I 

From off his neck bull madly threw 
Kate Nicholas, and poor Virtue too; 
Upon a rick they fell in chance. 
Where long they lay in fainting trance I 
Pbor Nanny Hutton, from his horns. 
Was thrown upon a brake of thorns, 
Where long she dangled by her dress 
Before a soul saw her distress! 

Fair Mary Thomas, when she found 
The frenzied beast thus raging round, 
And tossing all that were anigh, 
Screamed loudly out, **Fly, Peggy, dfV* 
Soon as the words escaped her lips. 
To Ptdair Erw Peggy slips. 
As hies the deer from huntsman dread 
To Coed y Park she swiftly sped. 

Helter-skelter went Tom Evan 
And Howell Bach to Mynydd Baidan, 
Thence to Cildeudy's glen they go, 
Where they were hiding long, I trow; 
Till chance brought by an aged wight. 
Who saw these lads in piteous plight, 
And told them that the noted beast 
Had butchered been three days at least. 

Dai Nicholas and Tom Mathew were 
Two of the heroes who stood there. 
And William Lewis made the third 
Who this grim bull's loud groanings heard; 
No soul* Maescadlawr House came nigh 
Till niore than six whole days passed by, 
When Mistress Thomas, 'twas well known, 
Had this huge beast in salt put down. 

The butcher, whom the fates preserve. 
Has trembled since in every nerve. 
And rumour runs that from his heart 
That dread, he says, will ne'er depart! 
Fcr six long days, from this sad cause, 
His tongue he turned not in his jaws. 
Then his first words, in accents full. 
' Were— ** God preserve me from the bull** 

If it be asked, « Whose idle lay 
Has jiisi been sung ?** Be silent, pray, 
Else lor the bard there will await. 
Than was the bull's, a far worse fate I 


Tet, be would hope the worthy priest, 
When next he slays e fatted beast, 
Lest human blood be spillid then. 
May seek a braver set of meu t 

The original song of " Tarw Matscadlawr *' is worthy to rank 
with '* John Gilpin/* as a piece of harmless and amusing exag* 

feration. For more than one hundred years after poor Will 
iopkin's death, it rested entirely for preservation upon the 
tongue of tradition, and had, perhaps, in that time, hardly 
once been committed to paper. Consequently, although the 
song had, in the middle parts of the country, that kind of ' 
fame which comes from being spoken of, many people had 
never heard the song sung or recited, and were simply familiar 
with scraps of it. Not until 1845 did it appear in print, and» 
even at that late day, it appears as if the world was indebted 
to chance circumstance for the pleasure of seeing it brought 
to light. Happily, the same circumstance gave the impetus 
which produced the bpirited translation of Mrs. Pendril 
Llewelyn ; so the gift to the public was a double one. 

To the original communication from Mr. and Mrs* 
Llewelyn, there were appended copious notes upon the prin- 
cipal characters mentioned in the song. Before these are 
brought under the reader's notice, it will be well to relate the 
circumstance which recalled the song to the public mind 
in 1845. 

In the Cambrian newspaper, of August 9th, in that year, 
there appeared in the obituary notices, the record of a death ; 
thus : — 

** Lately, at Bryn-y-6ettws, in the parish of Bettws, aged 
54, Mr. Edward Mathew, son of Mr. Thomas Mathew, of 
Pentre, Llangynwyd, in this County, one of the characters 
of that song so well known in the locality, the Can Tarw^ 
Maescadlawr, composed by that excellent lyric poet, William 

This announcement led to the appearance of the following^ 
communication to the editor, in the paper of August 23rd :~* 

** In your issue of August 9th, there appeared a notice of 
the death of Edward Mathew, of Bryn-v* Bettws. It is there 
stated that he was the son of the character in Can Tarw 
Maescadlawr, by William Hopkin. It should have been the 
grandson of Tom Mathew, whose name occurs in that song. 
As the worthy Chief Bard of Glamorgan (Ab lolo) is now 
collecting all that can be had of William Hopkin's poems, 
and the remains of other bards, for publication, the song to 
which allusion is made is herewith forwarded to you. Ft 
should be stated that the words are taken down chiefly fironci 


the singing and reciting of an old man named Jenkin 
Treherne» who, according to the parish registers, was bap- 
tized 7^ y* i6, 1764. William Hopkin was buried a.d. 1741, 
twenty-three years prior to the birth of Jenkin. 

** Maescadlawr is a farm in the parish of Llang^nwyd, and, 
at the time the song was composed, was the residence of the 
Vicar, the Rev. Morgan Thomas. The air to which the song 
is sung by the hill folks is called ** Gwegil y Fwyell'* which has 
lately been published by Miss Jane Williams, of Aberpergwm, 
in her beautiful Collection of * Melodies of Gwent and * 
Morganwg.*— See page 58, and note 83, of the Collection." 

Then follows the song in Welsh, with the following 
note :^** There will be sent you probably next week a tran- 
slation of this song of our native peasantry, also a few notes 
respecting the characters mentioned." The promised 
English version of the song appeared in the Cumbrian^ of 
August, 1845 ; and in an early succeeding issue of the same 
paper, the following ** notes " upon the song were given : — 

'* The * Bull of Maescadlawr ' turned out to have been a 
poor calf. Thus tradition obtains. The intention of the 
bard was probably to hint to the Vicar that his numerous 
retainers were but an idle set of bores. Or, it may be that 
the poet humourously employed his satire against those 
parties whose names are only known to us by his song. 
This was a favourite custom of the bards, and many pieces 
of sparring between Will Hopkin and David Nicholas 
(household bard of Aberpergwm) are traditionally recited 
and sung by the peasantry even to this day. Jenkin Treherne, 
from whose reciting this song (in the original Welsh) was 
taken, affirms that * this bull was but a calf.' The old man 
says: — 

*' Mi glywais nad oedd y tarw hwn dim ond Ho bach, a^ 
Wil Hopkin a ganws y g&n, o wawd. Ac mi glywais fod y 
bwtsiwr yn ffyrnig iawn yn dywedyd fod rheitach gwaith o 
lawer gan Wil Hopkin i*w wneuthur na Uunio celwydd yn y 
modd ag y gwnaeth. Yr oedd yn tori character y bwtsiwr. 
Hyn mi a glywais lawer gwaith gan Nanny Hutton. Yr oedd 
hi yn byw yn Nant-mwth, a mamgu i Edward Thomas sydd 
jn byw yn Maescadlawr yn awr yooedd hi. Yr oeddwn yn fy 
ie*nctyd yn 'nabod rhai o'r dynion a enwir yn y canu. Nani 
Hutton mi a welais lawer o weithiau, a Twm ab Evan ; un 
o'r ' mawriaid * ydoedd Twm. Mae eu had hwy yma heddyw, 
sef Y * Mawriaid,' fel eu gelwir yn y plwyf. Y Marged a 
enwir yn y canu oedd Margaret Lewis, a mamgu i Dwm 
sydd GUre yn y LlaH heddyw ydoedd hi. Morwyn.yr offeir* 
iad oedd « Virtue.'" 


Jenkin, being asked whether David Nicholas mentioned 
in the song was the bard of Aberpergwm, replied—** Nage. 
Dio Llwyngwladus (a farm in the same Parish) oedd hwnw. 
Yr un tylwyth oedd y ddau. Fe fu'r bardd, Dafydd Nicholas, 
yn cadw ysgol yn y Ltan. A gwr o'r parthau hyn ydoedd 
«fe. Fe fu hen dadau y gwr sydd yn awr yn y Gelli yn yr 
ysgol gydag ef, a llawer ereill o hen bobl y plwyf. Y Man 
Thomas a enwir yn y canu oedd ferch i'r *£feir*ad ; hi 
briodws yr Edmunds o Bontfaen/' 

The Parish Registers confirm throughout the saying of 
^his old man. The Rev. Morgan Thomas was Vtcar , from 
A.D. 1707 to 1763. The baptism of the fair Mary Thomas is 
thus recorded :— ** Maria fiha Morgan! Thomas et Tabithae 
Jones, bap. fuit 24" die Martii, 1712-13.'* Her marriage 
thus:-*'* Thomas Edmunds, parochtae de Llantryddid, et 
Maria Thomas de Llangonwyd, in matrimonia conjunct!, 
fuerunt vicesimo primo die 7^*^ 38* 

In a different hand and paler ink is inserted an ** L.,** 
probably to intimate that the marriage was by license. Also 
between the words ** Edmunds" and ** parochiae '* in the 
rsame hand and ink are inserted the three letters **gen'* 
above, with a caret underneath. The fact is elicited from 
this date that the sox\% was composed anterior to 1738, the 
marriage of the fair Mary Thomas. The death of this lady 
is thus inserted:—'* Mrs. Edmunds, mother of the late Col. 
Edmunds, of Cowbridge, and daughter of the Rev. Mr. , 
Thomas, of Maescadlawr, and late Vicar of this Parish, was * 
buried here on Sunday, the iSth Feb., 1798." She then 
lived with Dr. Sanders, of Bridgend. 

The marriage of Margaret, or Peggy, who took refuge in 
Pedair Erw, is also thus recorded :— ** William Bivan, carpen- 
ter, of Croft yr Efail, in the Middle Hamlet of the Parish of 
Llangynwyd, and Margaret Lewis, spinster, living in a certain 
house called Maescadlawr, were married in this Church, the 
26th day of November, 1754, by Mr. Morgan Thomas, Vicar 
of Llangynwyd.*' 

Respecting Nanny Hutton, the subjoined extracts are 
made from the Registers : — '* Anne filia Baftholomii Hutton 
et Jana William, bap. fuit decimo tertio die 8^" 1717, fT,^^" 
Again, '•2**"» Bartholomeiis filius Jonis Hutton— vie ibid — 
et Cecilia Griffiths, bap. fuit 14'' Augusti, 1670." From these 
two transcripts, it would appear that Nanny Hutton was 
the grand-daughter of the Rev. John Hutton, Vicar of the 
Parish of Llangynwyd from a.d. 1662 to Deer., a.d. 1705.*' 

Coed y Pare, Coed y Cefen, Pedair Erw, are names oi 


places which occur in the song; and are well known by 
those names to this day. 

The song of Maescadlawr is not composed in the fetters 
of eyngkamdd^ although every Welsh bard revels in cynghan* 
eddum as far as possible. The rhyme in one or two places- 
appears rugged; for instance, in the seventh verse, gyllell 
rhymes witn diffaiih; but the common Demetian pronuncia- 
tion of the word now spelt cylMl is cylleth. And in the first 
verse, unsut rhymes with Llangynwyd. Now the word suty 
i.e. form, manner, condition, &c., is pronounced as if written 
$kwd. This sut is the common salutation. ** Sutyt y*ch chwi ? 
(How are you ?^ is pronounced as though written ikwd^ and 
the rhyme would be thus to the ear : — 

** Llang7iiw3rd, 

- anshwd.* 

Llan Vtearagit 15 5^/., 1845. R. & M. 

The letters close with some remarks upon the varied spell* 
ing of the name Llangynwyd, to which reference has beeo 
made at length in the earlier part of this work. 


'Clywch gwyn y bacbgen gwirion 

MewD geiriau mvrynion maith, 
O garu roeioir dirion, 

Nid yw ond ofer waith ; 
Mae rhai bron colli bywvd 

Am faDwylyd fawr ei bri, 
Ow ! marw fydd fv menyd, 

Os na feddianaf hi. 

Pe cawn Ann Iftn yn briod, 

Yr hynod fy wiog ferch, 
Mi wn nas dengys wybren, 

Un sereo ftvy o serch ; 
Mae'i gr&n fel gloyw berlyn, 

A'r rhosyn vn yr haf ; . 
' Ood trow*d bi i gam arali, 

£r mw yn fy nghadw'n giaf. 


Hi raid i'r dynion diflyn 

Un gronyo fod mor groeflg 
Er gwaethaf geirian geirwoo. 

Mi'i caraf hvd fy oes; 
Yr wyf yn gUi with glywed 

Fod bwriad rhai mor bell. 
Yd erbyn bachgen oCer, 

Heb fod 'ran gronyn gwclU 

Mae'n dios fel lili gwynion, 

Llun biodau'r gwaDwyn gwya, 
GwcD araul gwel fu'n arot, 

Fcl Uinos yn y glyn ; 
Ac oni ddaw'r un ddawnui 

A'i phlaoed yn y bla'n, ' 
'Difaru 'nol fy marw, 

Wna'r lieiDir Inniaidd lin. 

Tfntiatid hy A/r. Rkyt D, Aiorgsu. 

List, while heart grieMadeo. 

A love-born lad cdmplains; 
How love for a fair maiden 

brings nought but bitter pains I 
' For many swains address her— 

Young, gallant, proud, and high ; 
If I may not possess her. 

I'll lay me down and die t 

If Ann to me were given, 

My life with joy and light 
Would glow—as gloweth heaven 

With myriad stars bedight,— 
But ah I the charms and virtue 

Her features fair display, 
Are promised to another. 

And I am cast awa> I 

Her cruel friends command her 

Her hand elsewhere to give. 
Assail my name with slander, 

Yet, while J breathe and live, 
My love shall be unfading, 

For well she loveth me, 
And spite of all persuading— 

Mine, still, her heart shall be. 

Pure is she as the lilies. 

Fair, as the flowers of spring, 
Her voice is like the trilling 

Of woodland birds that sing : 
For my sweet bride Til win her 

Her heart through life I'll keep— 
Or die, content in knowing 

That she o'er me doth weep 1 




The Williams's Family, of Bryn-y-pro. 

In the latter part of the last, and the beginning of the 
present century, the tenant of Bryn-v-fro Farm, in this 
Parish, was one Edward William, who combined in his 
single person the avocations of rural carpenter and farmer. 
He had a rather numerous family of sons and daughters, of 
whom the best known are Edward, who became a clergyman, 
and curate of Ewenni Parish, and Thomas, who, for some 
time, occupied Bryncynan Farm, subsequently, however, « 
removing to Llangynwyd Village, where he became school- 
master, and Parish Clerk to the Rev. John Parry. 

It will be gathered from the facts we have given, that 
father and sons must have been of more than common intelli- 
gence. They were each well known to possess the gift of 
**Yfawenbarod" — the ready muse, and to have excelled in 
the practice of the rhyming and metrical contests of wit, 
which, we have before referred to. Especially adept were 
they in the characteristic Glamorganshire metre, the 
'* triban,*' now, alas ! fast going the way of the yoke and 
the ploughing ox, for whose especial behoof the ** tribanau '* 
were originally composed. It will be imagined that bechgyii 
Bryn-y-fro^ as they were called, were looked upon as the 
laureates of Llangynwyd, and formidable persons to meet in 
a war of wits. 

We subjoin a few specimens of their proficiency in this 
respect — by way, not so much of claiming a high standard 
of thought and intellect for these humble literati, as of 
shewing how, probably, the taste for poetry and love of 
letters have been kept alive in «• poor little Wales "—during 
centuries, in which the education and culture of the people 
were neglected. 

At the time we mention, the rural carpenter's was an 
avocation in much request. The days of flimsy veneer and 
French polish .wdre not, as yet, and in addition to the usual 
carpentry of the farm appliances and the hke, all the house- 
hold furniture was made at home, and, let it be said, made 
•of material, and shewing workmanship, that remains after 
many years a standing protest against the tawdry and showy 
•cabinet-making of the present dav. When a son or a ' 
•daughter was married, he or she took from the paternal home 
artides of furniture, the manufacture of which had occupied 
the carpenter for, perhaps, six months. This dower or 
marriage gift was known as *' Ystafbll." 

Being therefore in a good way of business, Edward 
William was fain to employ as his assistant one William 
Evaot known popularly as ** Will o'r Voel.'* Will, also, was 


A rhymester, and in this respect, as in others, fit to be the 
partner of Edward William, of Bryn-y-fro. 

The Rev. Edward William on one occasion desired his- 
lather and Will o'r Voel to come and make him a pair of 
wheels. Repeated promises to fulfil the order were made 
and broken; and the reverend eentleroan at last, out of 
patience, thus enunciated his grief: — 

Daw*r haul o*r IVtU y bora*, 
A'r m6r i ben Moel-caara', • 
Cyn dclo nbad a WU y laer, 
I dryclo par o drycla*. 

Whether spurred by this sarcasm or not, we cannot tell ; 
but shortly the long ordered wheels were made, and in- 
delivering them to Mr. William, Will o*r Voel thus ddiveredi 

Mewn pedwar byr ddiwmod. 

Gwnaeth Wil ag Etward hynod, 
Drwy gated waith. coed, h'ara, a dnr, 

Y trycla' pur yn barod. 

This elicited from the clergyman the following repartee : — 

Garw wy'n rhyfoddu, 
I chwi allu oiedru 
Woeuthur par o drycla' gwych. 
Wrth wel'd eich trych yn trychu. 

This same Will, working on another occasion at Bryn-y 
fro, was curious enough to enquire of his employer, ** How* 
much butter was produced weekly on the farm ? " Mr. 
William replied jocularly, *' That they daily filled the 
largest firkin in the Parish *' — alluding to himself, he being 
an exceptional large and portly man. Presently he was 
attacked by Will in the following words : — 

Fy ffrynd a'm cyfaill anwog, 
*Rwyt wedi myo'd yo hafog; 
Ni ddaw un d'ioni i dy rhaa, 
Y fercyn felan folog. 

Williams returned the attack upon his enemy by replying:— ^^ 

Pe ba'it ti ond vn fercyn, 
Ti ga'it dy lon*d o 'fenyn; 
Ood nid wyt fiit y gerwya Iwyd 
I gadw bwyd y mochyn. 

On another occasion, when the Rev. Edward William 
had been away from home, Will o*r Voel, using the rough 
freedom of those days, would have it that the parson had been 
to visit his lady love, and that he had been rejected by her- 


Meeting the wanderer on his return, he ^buft welcomed 
Mm :— V 

Fy ffrynd a'm cyfaill mwyDa*, 

'Rwy'n gwel'd yn awr yo ola\ 
*N6l bod yn tramwv tref a gwlad, 

Taw mam a thad sydd ora*. 

^nd was thus replied to : — 

Mae tre' yn dra rbagorol, 
Hi haeddai gael ei chaomol; 
Ond gorau peth I dynu serch, 
Yw mynwea merch synwyrol. 

The following was the caustic criticism applied by the 
Rev. Ed. Williams to his father and the aforesaid Will, while 
they were preparing wood to roof the barn :-~ 

Yn wir, mae'n ffitach crogi 
Wil o'r Voel a Neti, 
Am eu bod yn bradu co'd. 
Wrth geisio bod yn aeirl 

But what will be thought in these most precise days of the 
way in which Mr. William proposed to visit a discovered 
thief with the thunder of the sanctuary ! It appeared that a 
man, W. R., a prominent member of a Nonconformist body 
in the village, was found to have stolen a hatchet from the 
workshop at Bryn-y-fio, belonging to the clergyman*s father. 
The reverend bard hereupon suggested that the following 
parody on a well-known Welsh hymn should be given out 
and sung on the ensuing Sabbath. When we say that the 
said W. R. was leader of the singing, that is, precentor, the 
sting of the jest will be apparent : — 

O am 'nestrwydd yn y gwreiddyn, 
O am iechyd yn y gwa'd, •• 

O am nerth i i^rthod. lladrad, 

• A' bwyelli siop fy nhad ; 

GlAn yw 'nestrwydd, &c., 
O na feddwn ar fath beth.. 

Which may be thus broadly translated :— 

O for bonesty to guide me, 

For my soul this virtue lacks, 
O for power to st^nd beside me, 

Lest I steal my neighbour's axe ; 
Honest conscience, &c.. 

Would thy fair content were mine 1 R. D. M. 

The following distich was written by Mr. William to 
place on a new boundary gate on the mountain between 
Ty-talwyn and Bryn-y-fro. Frevious gates which had stood 
ou the same spot hiaid been destroyed, presumably by some. 


neighbour who conceived it to be his interest that his sheep 
and cattle should have free ri^ht*of pasture of his neif3:hbour*s 
£elds« We are not told whether the muses were sufficiently 
powerful to protect the bard's fields from further trespass : — 

Mi ge's fjr liongian yma. 
Gaa hen wr cyfiawn, cofia, 
I gadw heddwcb rhwog dwy blaid, 
Am hyny paid a mriwa. 

And the next was his impromptu reflection, on re- 
turning home to Bryn*v-fro after a Ions absence, and finding 
that his*' over-cleanly^* sister had white-washed the farm* 
house and its outbuildings : — 

Mae Bryo-y-ffO eleni, 
A'i gylchoedd wedi galchu; 
Gan Sbini'm cbwaer. y goegan falch, 
Yd wyn o galch y Coeity. 

Especially severe, apparently, were the rhyming contests 
between the rev. gentleman and his brother, Thomas 
William. Tom*s muse, though apt and incisive, was, per- 
haps, less cultivated and more *' racy of the soil '* than that 
of his learned brother. Moreover, the said Tom was sadly 
adHicted to drinking deep of a stream other than that of* 
«< Castaly,*' and, as a consequence, staggering homeward in a 
state far from being pleasing to his reverend brother, who 
would proceed to beat the Drum Ecclesiastic into his unwilling 
ears, and administered reproofs that were anything but gentle. 

On one occasion, Tom returned from a lengthened 
carouse very hungry, and demanded broth. The Rev.« 
Edward, hearing him, thus rebuked him :— > 

The active arm ii winner 

Of broth and meat for dinner; 

Diwydrwydd dyn ei hunan, 
Sydd gawl, sydd gig, sydd botan ; 
Oi yii gwrw melyn Twm,* 
Ti fyddi'n llwm dy gefan. 

Tom. leave thy guzzling, or thou ahalt 
Go bare-back aeon, thou ainner. 

And Twm, thinking, probably, of some boon companion of 
his late carouse, replied : ~ 

Gan Mr. Jones, y I*orthman, , With Mr. Jones, the drover, 
Pe gallwn dreiglo i'w drigfan, Could I his home discover. 

Cawn gwrw da, beb uo gair dig, I should have broth and pudding too. 

A cbawl, a chig. a photan. > Despite my scolding brother. 

Which retort nettled his fraternal censor, and elicited the 
ioUowing : — 

Ni chei di'r meddwyn aflan, 
Na chawl. na chig. na photan ; 
Na chwrw da, heb wneyd ei werth. 
Ond tin y berth gan borthman. 

Sot ! thou canst not deceive me. 
Thy want of sense doth grieve me ; 
Thv drover will not welcome thee. 
Or give thee food— believe me. 
R.D. M. 

* Old Thomas Evan, the Tavern Keeper. 


The Skine Thomas, observing a mason mending a gap in 
a wall, and omitting to keep his work in line with the portion 
which still stood, reproved the careless craftsman thus :^ 

Ti dd'laset chwilto allan, 
Cyn roddi lawr y lylfa'n: 
Pa 1ID a oedd y gwaith yn lliOf 
A chytun ar hen grofan. 

Formerly, ploughs were made of wood, and on the day 
when the nrst iron plough was made at the village smithy, 
Thomas William observed two carpenters, who, with rueful 
visages, were contemplating the new implement that was to 
displace their handiwork, and rob them of a lucrative branch 
of Uieir business. The following was the poet*s reflection :-* 

Mac'r seiri coed yn segur, 
Bigalon iawn fe'i gwelir; 
Wrth syllu ar yr aradr h'am. 
Fob un a'i farn yn brysur. 

Khagfam yw ei rhegi, 
Y gof roes luniad iddi ; 
Fe baeddai hwn mewn gwir di£fae], 
Wrth gordan gael ei grogi. 

Thomas William, alias Tliotuas y Clerk^ also figured in a 
certain whimsical anecdote, the memory of which, mdeed, 
has been preserved mainly in the satirical lines that he wrote 
on the event. A cow, belonging to a certain farmer, was 
suddenly attacked by illness, the symptoms and appearance 
of which were, in the eyes of her alarmed owner, so uncom- . 
mon and so threatening, that he forthwith sent for a neigh- 
bouring farrier - one who, as was and is frequently the case, 
knew nothing of the works on veterinary science, and, per- ' 
haps, still less from the causes and treatment of disease. 
The man of science came, and, with much solemnity, 
pronounced his patient to be suffering from *' Darced *'*, and 
prescribed accordingly. But very shortly, to his astonish- 
ment, and the danger of his reputation as a " vet.", the un- 
toward symptoms were explained by the appearance in the 
world of a fine calf. Our rustic satirist took the matter up, 
and wrote some scathing verses upon the event. In the first, 
he happily pictures the farrier pompously surveying his 
patient, and oracularly naming her complaint : — 

Ac ami taena'i olwg, * . She hath the Daned^sun quoth he, 

Y Darced y w, raae'n amlwg ; I And badly too, I'm fearing ; [see 

A cbyda hyn rhyw chwithig dfo. But soon to shame him they could 

Fe ddaetb y llo i'r golwg. I A fine bull-calf appearing. 

CrajVM, i7arf0i,— A tumour or abscess formed in the breast from 
the milk fever. 


And the great man's feelings broke forth thus :— 

A«tli Til fy erbya haddyw, To-day my ammo and Cuaa are 

Vy mbroffei a fy onw ; Why was it you neglected [gone^ 

Fam am dd'wedtech ddynion clywch To lay the cow had been to bull, 
Pan aath y fawch i darw. And this calf was expected P 

R. D. M. 
Thomas William also figures in the records of the parish 
as having for some time held the office of Parish Clerk. 
Doubtless, his tippling habits were often found to be far from 
appropriate to the digntt)^ and importance of this post ; and 
we find that after some sin of more than usual enormity, he 
was dismissed by the Vicar, the Rev. John Parry. His pardon 
and restoration were procured by the following verses which 
he composed :— 

Ot collait mae ng'wyllys i'r eglur IHn Eglwys. 
Gael clochydd fo'n gymwyi a gweddus ei wedd 
Heb ddilyn dicta. thAi swydd na phlesera* 

Heb fwynder yn medda amynedd. 

A chael vr offeiriad o nefol anadliad, 
A gwyneb agored iawn lynied ei swydd; 
Yn ^wylio y defaid rbag brathiad y bleiddiaid, 
\*i ergyd am eurglod ei Arglwydd. 

One more anecdote of Thomas William, and we will 
dismiss him. On one occasion, it was his duty to go to Marram 
Parish, in search of Mr. Parry, whose services were required 
at a funeral. His search for the rev. gentleman was unsuc- 
cessful, and he plaintively bewails the loss of his spiritual 
shepherd : — 

*Rwyf beno yn amddifad, 1 Sad is my song of sorrow. 

anghynes yw fy nghaniad ; Dark am I, and forsaken ; 

Mi goUais bob nefolaidd wawl, My guide is gone, that led to heaven, 

Fe aeth y d«-— 1 4*r 'ffeir'ad. The devil hath him uken. 


Siams Twrbil^or James Turberville, though not a native 
of this Parish— long resided here, and figures largely in the 
annals of the locality; as being like those already men- 
tioned,— a lowly, but not inapt or unworthy, follower of the 
muse. Twrbil was born at Ely, and was apprenticed to one 
Evan Hopkin, at Cunufclin, a weaver. At the expiration 
of the apprenticeship, he took up the trade of itinerant 
weaver,— being, perhaps, possessed with the roving spirit 
and desire for change that m some cases is found joined with 
a love of the poetic and beautiful. 

Not that we find much of these characteristics in what 

specimens we possess of Twrbil's genius. As far as we may 

judge by these, he was remarkable like his fellows, only for 

ready wit, keen sarcasm, and easy mastery of rhyme. These 



appear in the following, his reply to his employer, who 
reproved him for want of speed in bringing home a heavy 
piece of timber for which he had been sent :— 

Fy BghyfaiU Evan Hopktn, 
Nid Samson ydyw Siemtyn; 
DaD benyd vtyi o'r ardd i'rlan, 
Yn plygu dan y plocyn. 

Arrived at years of maturity, he courted the daughter ot the 
" Old House Tavern " in the village, cooling, it may be, the 
fire of love, in the foaming tankard. He became indebted 
to the parent of his Dulcinea to the amount of five shillings. 
The stern landlord, called from his occupation of wood- 
cutter — y cordwr^ {the corder) no doubt frequently dunned 
him for the amount, but obtained only the following in 
liquidation of the debt :— 

Vr Cordwr 'rwyf yn credu, 
Aeth coron gron wrth gam; 
Fe nghownta i'n ffel ac nid yn ffol. 
Pan ddelo'i *nol i dalu. 

And he thus apostrophises Llangynwyd Village, after having 
been somewhat roughly treated by some of the lads of that 
place :— 

Y Llan yw llety Sata 

Os ydyw ar y ddae'ran ; 
Mae'n rbaid cael dyn yn gryf mewn gras, 

I fyn'd i ma's o'i safan. 

It will, doubtless, be thought by some, that to call these 
humble rhymesters by the dignified title of " poet,** is to re- 
duce poetry and its professors to a level far below their desert. 
Rhyme, we shall be told, is not poetry, nor scurrilous epi- 
gram wit. It should, however, be fully understood that it is 
not intended; even by the greatest admirers of these lowly 
iiUrati, And their like, that they should rank with Shakespeare 
and Milton, or even with those of their own nationality who 
have won for themselves the noble title of '* poet.'* But it is 
in what remains to us of such men that we have the clearest 
and most truthful picture of life as it was in these remote 
districts nearly a century ago. Education there was none ; 
communication with the outer world was a thing not often 
obtained, and when it did happen that a visit was paid to 
some more progressive and enlightened neighbourhood, the 
traveller was thereafter looked upon as one who had indeed 
seen the world, and been privileged above his generation. 
But the thought will naturally arise, ** What, under happier 
circumstances, would such men have become ?'* It is not just 
to them, or to their genius, to judge them solely by these fugi* 


live rhymes, hmitdXy uttered on the impulse of the moment, 
inspired by some passing event or whimsical fancy. We cannot 
but believe that with them, as with the lowlv poor of to-day, 
their unceasing struggle with poverty, and the gloomy and 
sordid surroundings, moulded at last even the aspiring spirit 
of these poets to its own likeness, until the muse in them wore 
' out her pinions against the bars of her cage, in the vain at- 
tempt to soar. Such as these men were, they were worthy of 
admiration for their genius; and, in some instances, such as 
that of Will Hopkin, of honour, for the dignity of their senti- 
ments, and the purity of their aspirations. 

One of the last survivors of these rude forefathers of the 
Hamlet was one old Llewelyn David, of Llwyni, who, after 
a life of labour, retired decrepid and helpless to his native 
Village of Llangynwyd. The old man was delighted when 
the neighbours and their children would drop m, bringing 
with them some item of news. One day, one of the old man's 
visitors came to him with the astounding intelligence that thn 
ironworks was in process of erection at Maesteg, and that his 
old neighbour, '*Jack v Gof*'~John the Blacksmith— was 
employed in making the boiler I The first portion of the 
news was difficult enough to swallow, but the story of the 
boiler was so utterly incredible, that it stamped the whole 
tale as a^n invention. The old man, in a passion, drove the 
young newsvendor out of his house. *' A liar I " quoth he, 
•< to expect me to believe that * Jack yGof* ever undertook 
to make a thing larger than his shop I " 

John Yorath, who has been mentioned as Jacky Gof^ was 
the first blacksmith employed at the Maesteg Iron Woiks. 
The following is the register of his death :— 

**John Yorath (Jack y Gof) died Octr. 29th, 2843, ^^ 
Maesteg, in the 69th year of his age." 

The following stanzas to his memory appeared in the 
II Haul " after his death ; — 

Sion Torwerth mewn dtnertbedd,— a guglwyd 
I gysgle yr oerfcdd ; 
Sylwn,— yn yr un salwedd, 
Y'n rho'ir bawb yn oer i'r bedd. 

Gof ydoedd boed gofiadwy.—heddyw 
Duw iddo'n gynorthwy!— 
Ni cheir fyth, achur afwy, 
Chwyth o'i fin» na'i fegia fwy. 

Y morthwyl rhwyddhwyl orddaii»— yr eiogion, 
Ar anghof mae'r cyfan ; 
Yn ei feJd ddifaswedd fan 
Gwaelaidd yw rhwng dwy gealan. 


TIm maids of Gelly Leoor.— The Ghost of Ptoatre.— The legend of the 
diYiskm of the Psrishes of Uangynwyd and Margsm, 

Gelly Lbnor. 

fHIS farmhouse is very ancient, and the name literally 
rendered into English would be, ** The learned man's 
grove" It is said that Edward IL, after his escape 
from Caerffili Castle, remained here in disguise for several 
weeks, when he was pursued, and in danger of his life, at. 
the hands of his Queen and her favourite. Earl Mortimer, in 
the year 1327. The King is said to have hid by day in the 
branches of an oak-tree on a spot below the house, and to 
have retired to the farmhouse at night. The trunk of the 
oak-tree thus honoured stood until within the last twenty 
years, when it was removed, and was known as Cadair 
Edward ('* Edward's Chair '*). 

Mn Malkin, in his ** Scenery, Antiquity, and Biography 
of South Wales," says, — «« The carriage-road to Bridgend is 
near the coast, but there is a grand ride over the mountains 
by Llangonwyd, which will be remembered as the village, or 
rather the parish, famous for having afforded a retreat to 
Edward IL for a short time in his adversity. We are in- 
formed by tradition that he concealed himself at Gelly Lenor. 
— ^a large farmhouse, now standing alone, about a mile (to the 
north) from the village.** 

What is said in English history is,^'* That the King hid 
himself in a mountainous place near Neath." It has, how- 
ever, been questioned by some later writers whether the King 
really made such a stay as tradition states. But we have 
other matters to relate in connection with this place that 
makes it interesting. 

About the middle of the last century, there lived at Gelly 
Lenor a respectable farmer, named Morgan James. He had 
three daughters, and two of them became celebrated as heroines 
of rather romantic stories. The first was named Sarah, who 
had bewitched— with ejre, and cheek, and lip. and the other 
usualcharms— one David Griffith, ofDyffryn Coegnant, son 
of a ftirmer and landowner, whose descendants, by the way, 


still owa the Mine property. What there was to disturb the 
current of their true love, history sayeth not ; but, probably, 
Sarah James, with the wilfulness which pretty women are 
prone to exhibit, sorely tried the patience of David Griffith, 
whose despair found utterance in the following verses. They 
are taken down from the memory of a venerable dame in this 
parish, who well remembers the time when the song was in 
the mouth of almost everybody in the neighbourhood. 

Holl ie*octyd <U mwyo, 
Rbo'wch gwyn i ddyn gwaa, 
Sy'n flia ia%ini daa loes :*• 
Cwaitb mentro mor beUad, 

I s^iad mor uroet. 
C«wcb slywed yn gyioo, 
Er swMled fy nghalon. 
Pod loetioD a churion o'm dwyfroa i*ai pen t— 
Tiueni tra aered fy mod dan saetbtwed, 
Gwaetb gwaelu cy waeled o gariad at i 
Na ddsliai'r un lana, lliw blodau'r rhoa I 

Mi rboddais fy mryd 
I gyd, a fy'm sercb. 

Ar ferch Ian ddi.fai ; 
Maa ngobaitb yn ddyfal. 
Am gael ei mwyobau ; 
*Doe9 iachyd na meddyg, 
Na dolur gwasgedig, 
All gael yr uo ddiddig buredig dda'i rbyw:^ 
Dan gwlwm yn briod i'm gwella o'm nycbdod, 
A'm cadw o'r beddrod sydd bared mor wiw | 
Mi a'i caraf tra bo' anadl i'm cynal yn fyw. 

Na ddelsai'r an Ion 
Gryno gron deg ei gnidd, 

I g'lymu trwy glod , 
A'm gweiU o'm clefyd, 

Dan benyd 'rwy'n bod. 
Tebyg'swn an amser, 
Y cawBwn 'run bawdd|(ar, 
Y seren wych syber yn gvdmar 1 mi ; 
Ond 'nawr trwm ^w mhronad ni fynyff fy 1 
Er cystal y canad i'r ddifrad y sy'— 
At feinir fwyn lawen, synwyrlawa yw hL 

Os hola rby w rhai, 
Ar (ai'n byn o fyd, 

Pwy luniodd y glUi ; 
Ei sercb oedd mor sryfed, 

Nts gwelwyd o'r blaen,— 
Mynegwcb cbwi iddynt 
Taw Bacbgen o'r Dyffrvn» 
Sv'n wael iawn ei eulun a gwreiddyn at Cnrch^ . 
Yn byw yn alarus mewn cyatudd truenus, 
O acbos digofus drwg 'wyllys tra ercb,— 
Na ddeliai' ar rbywdro i'm safio drwy lerch. 


Tmnslation by Mr, Rhyt D» U9rg»fh 

All ye kindly youth, 
Give ear to my sighs, 

For long have I pined,— 
And wept that my dear one 

Hath proved so unkind. 

With tears and with sobbing, 

With heart wildly throbbing. 

With bitter grief rending my bosom and brain ;— 

1*11 tell all around me how sadness hath bound tat, 

Because I loved Gwen. and she loved not agaia^-^ 

My dayt are all sorrow, my nights are all paio. 

I gave her my heart, 
My heart and its love; 

So fair was the maid * 
I hoped I might win her. 

Fond hope I doomed to fade- 
Now till I can borrow 
Some balm for my sorrow, 
Or by some bold deed win the fair for mine own ;— 
Till bnde bells sweet pealing, shall bring my bean healing, 
And cruel Gwen's scorn by my love is overthrown ; 
The grave's scentless blossoms o'er my path are strewn. 
O ! would that my fair, 
Bright and rare, would but deign 

To smile upon me : — 
Would deign my poor bosom'a 

Physician to be, 
And once her fair smiling. 
My fond heart beguiling. 
Had made me believe that she smiled but on me ; 
But now, all forsaken, I sadly awaken, 
And know that this dream, like all others, must flee 
Though sweetly she smileth, her heart is still free. 
If any would know 
The true lover's name. 

That sang this sad song : — 
To pourtray a passion 

So lasting and strong, — 

Say— he that hath written, 
By death had been smitten, 
And fadeth and wasteth for love of a maid ; 
Say— that sad and weeping, he longs to be sleeping. 
'The sweet restful sleep 'neath the yewtree^s dark shade. 
But living or dying— his love shall not fade. 

It is pleasant to know that Sarah was all this time merely 
trving her David and his love. May her sleep be sweet, for 
she was the muse that inspired these beautiful verses, the 
outcome of a true poet. It is also pleasant to find in the 
Parish Register the following entry :— 

^Davkl Griffith, of this parish. Bachelor, and Sai;ah James, Spinster. 
wtn Buurried by license in this Church the 27th day of September, 1775, 
In the pretence of { ^orgam jAMEa. 

P { EowAaoVViLLiAiiiiy Clerk." 


The other daughter, Catherine James, was beloved hy one 

Iohn, or Sion Bivan-^^L poor man ; and the love appears to 
iave been mutual. As has often been the case, the maid*s 
parents had other views for her ; and finding out that their 
daughter really loved Ston Bivan^ they used every effort to 
break off the connection. The man chosen by her parents as 
the husband of Catherine was one Robert Jenkins, of Ewenni 
»a widower ; but he received no favour from her, who hesi- 
tated not, even in the presence of her parents, to declare her 
preference for Bivan, At this time, George III. was at war 
with America, and t^ie call for soldiers was constant and 
urgent. Bivan was drafted for service,* and went with a 
heavy heart. From a song which it is said he afterwards 
wrote, it appears that he did not look forward to a long 
absence; and before leaving, the voung couple met, and« 
amid mingling tears, interchanged their vows of eternal con- 
stancy. Bivan went, and remained long ; whether he wrot^ 
to his sweetheart or not, we cannot say. Probably, if he did, 
her father suppressed the letters. Meantime, while 
Catherine was living between hope and fear, the widower 
Jenkins was constant and assiduous in his attention, en- 
couraged by the parents ; while the lass, on the other hand, 
constantly said that " whoever she might be compelled to 
marry, * Sion Bivan ' posessed her heart." This state of things 
continued for some time, until the crafty Morgan James, to 
hurry matters, plotted with a soldier, also from this parish, who 
was in Bivan's regiment ; and a letter was sent to Gelly Lenor* 
stating that Sion Bivan had been killed in a certain engage- 
ment. The grief of Catherine James was intense ; and, 
broken down with sorrow, pressed by Robert Jenkins, and 
urged by her father, she was compelled to accept Jenkins, 
still, however, saying that her heart was Bivan*s, and rested 
in his grave. Preparations for the wedding were hurriedly 
made, and the day fixed. When it came, the wedding party 
rode on horseback (as was then the custom) to Llangynwyd 
Church. The wedding took place, and is thus recorded in 
the Registers :— 

''Robert Jenkins^ of the Parish of St. Brides Major, widower, and 
Catherioe James, of this parish, spinster, were married this 8th day of 
Deceipber, 1781, by license, by me, Wm. Rees, curate of St. Brides Minor.«.c.of}Mo.o*.^M«.^^^,. 

As the newly-married couple left the church porch, amid 
the congratulations of their friends, there came a man, travel- 
stained and weary, who stood near the ** Old House ;'* he 
was dressed in uniform. It was Sion Bivan, When the 


bride saw him, she fainted, and could not for some time be 
revived. Before leaving the spot, she confessed to Bivan her 
faithlessness (if, indeed it could be so called), and besought 
his forgiveness. She went to Ewenni with ner husband, to 
whom she bore 2Z children; yet, while she lived, she 
cherished her affection for Bivan; and he, on his part, de- 
lighted in showing kindness to her and her children, when 
they came to visit their parents at Gelly Lenor. 

Bivan married, and long laboured in the neighbourhood, 
being reputed the best workman in the district. He it was 
who built the old house which stood on the site of the preisent 
Tf/m* Arms^ Pontrhydycyff. 

The Ghost of I'bntrb.* 

At the beginning of the present century there was quar- 
tered at Pentre Farm House, then occupied by one David 
Treherne, an old pauper named Phillip Thomas. He was 
there in accordance with the custom of those days : there 
were no workhouses, and paupers were boarded out with the 
ratepayers of the different hamlets for periods, according to 
the amount at which they were assessed to the poor rate — 
three, six, or twelve months. Phillip Thomas resided at 
Pentre, and was, as far as is known, fairly comfortable, 
except for the fact that the maid, Catherine, part of 
whose duty it was to attend to the old man*s wants, was 
unkind, and even cruel to him. The maid had a soul worthy 
of a Poor Law Board as painted by Dickens ; for we find that 
the old man, even on his death bed, was the subject of her 
jeers and neglect. We are told that when he was 
dying, she refused him a drop of cold water, with the remark 

that she had no time to attend to the old d 1. The 

old man died, and was buried opposite the door of the old 
Village School, adjoining the Church known as ** Ty Cynwyd** 
Presently, we find that the old pauper's ghost made its 
appearance again in this world I Misguided spirit I he 
might have known that for paupers ot his class, there 
was no room in Llangynwyd ; however, here he was, 
and distinguished himself as follows. The little girl of the 
house was observed to throw the clothes which were drying 
into the fire, and, on being checked, excused herself by 
saying that Uncli Phillip gave them to her, and told her to do 
it ; and, indeed, we are told that the clothes were hung out of 

• Pentre Farm is but a short distance to the nortb-west of the 
Flwisb Chttfch. . 


the child's reach, and that it was impossible that she could 
herself have got at them. While the family were mystified 
at this event, in came the maid Catherine, pale and dripping, 
screaming that she had seen old Phillip by the stable, and 
that he had nearly drowned her bv emptying a pail of water 
over her. Here was more matter lot thought, and, doubtless, 
the family of Pentre found it difficult to account for what 
they had seen and heard. While they were thinking over 
matters, they were a^ain startled by hearing stones hurled 
with great force against the house from every direction. 
They, of course, huddled together in mortal dread, and when 
the time came to attend to the cattle and horses for the 
night, it was only in parties of two or three, with lanterns, 
that they ventured to do so. The night was spent in con- 
fusion, amid the screams of the maid Catherine, to whom 
the ghost was constantly in sight. This went on for some 
time, till the girl was wasted to a skeleton, and confined to 
her bed. The neighbours took it in turns to watch her, for, 
even at night, the disembodied pauper persecuted her, and 
made some attempts to strangle ner. 

In the general dismay, no better means for dispatching 
old Phillip from Pentre could be thought of than prayer 
meetings, and those were nightly held. It was an article of 
faith in those days that all clergymen had more than a smat- 
tering of the black art^ and that part of their education was 
directed to attaining power over the devil and his imps. So 
Mr. Parry, the vicar, was invited to conduct one of the 
prayer meetings. So frightened was the good old man, that' 
even while leading in prayer, he was constrained to pause 
and ask Catherine if she could sec the ghost, for at no time 
was it visible to anyone else. '* Yes, sir," quoth Catherine, 
** he stands just behind you,** — upon which Mr. Parry made 
himself scarce. So matters went on : work was neglected in 
Pentre; at Llangynwyd, no one ventured out after dark; 
and the general dread was such that the bells did hot ring 
during that winter. At last the Bev. Mr. Jones, vicar of 
Glynogwr, was invited to try his hand on this obstinate 
ghost, and, fortunately, succeeded in persuading the 
disembodied pauper to return whence he came. The 
Trehernes were at peace, and Catherine, the maid, got well. 
She lived, it is said, to a great age, and died in the odour of 
sanctity at Aberdare. So far the tragedy ([oes; but the 
poet William, of Aber, not being a believer in the ghostly 
powers of paupers, or others, turned the whole thing to 
jidicule, by introducing into this tragic story a strong ele- 
ment of comedy. His version is as follows :— 



Caeth ysbryd a barodd arawyd, 
I gaool plwyf LlangyDwvd ; 
Er dychryn Ilu, os bu e'n bod, 
O'r chwerwa Vioed a welwyd. 

'Roedd ganddo arfer flyrnig, 
I guro gwyr ft cherig, 
Aetb pawb yn bnidd o herwydd hwn, 
A'i adwyth ddycbryoedig. 

'Roedd ganddo ddefod ddigri',— 
Sef cydio'n nghoryn Cati ; 
Cyrchu'r dwr a gwlychu boo, 
Nes bod hi'n mbron a boddi. 

Rho'es iddi saig rbyfeddol 
O eithaf gwlad estronol, 
I blesio'r enetb ddifeth ddawn, 
Mae'n g>-mwy8 iawn ei ganmol. 

Fe yrwyd cenad union, 
Am ddau o weinidogion ; 

gymorth gwir a nertb t'r gwan i 
Ail bredycb gan ysbrydion. 

Gofynai Mr. Parri, 
Ar ganol d'weyd ei weddi, 
Gan godri law mewn braw 'run pryd, 
" A weld dir y sbr>-d Cati ? " 

Atebai'r feinir fwynlan, 
" Ocb 1 syr,— mae drach eich oelian ; 
Yr hen wr sur a'i olwg swrth 
Yn sefyll wrth ei huoan." 

Bryd hyn dechreuai grio. 
'* Myn dyn, wyf heb ymdrwsio ; 
Hewn arfau ffydd 'roedd arnaf fai, 

O cadwed rhai fi rhagdda" 

Atebai'r ysbryd 'sgeler, 
•< Diyy'n prisio am eicb pader } 
Mag am lais eich gweddi Ion— 

/'// kold my station ktrt.*' 

Daeth yno arfog iilwr, 
Weinidog mawr Glynogwr, 

1 yru'r bwbach brwnt i bant. 
Heb ddangos dant i un-gwr. 

Mr. Jonet ddyweda', 
^'Clyw'r ysbryd dos oddiyma ; 
Hi wna' i ti fyn'd y bredych brwnt, 

I'r rhandir hwnt i'r Mia,** 

" Mae^ch Uais chwi, syr, cy' lewed, 
A'cb crefydd sy' can' gryCed ; 

Mi allaf chwimlo liaw na throed. 
Gwae i mi *rioed eich gweled." 


^ Rbaid i mi fya*4 cbwi wyddoch| 

*Rwy'n rbwym o gilio rbagoch ; 
If i af ar draws, mi aJ ar b)*d. 

I'r maa o'r byd to myoocb.** 

** 'Rwy'n crada byn yo 'bcJaetb, 

Yn gryno maa 'ogbrediniaatb ; 
Nad o«t neb yn d'od yn ol, 

O'r raeirw ar ol marwotoatb." 

TrantistioM by Mr, Rkyt D, Mt9ipuk 

Tbbkb came a spirit evil, 
A sportive, frisky, devil*— 
Aad shocked the good Llangynwyd ibUc% 
With Irolics quite uncivil. 

It bad a Cearful fashion 
Of striking, kicking, lashing. 
And throwing stones at timid folks* 
Without grace or compassion. 

No devil e'er was bolder, 
For by her buxom shoulder 
He seiied poor Catit, spite her shrieks, 
And in the river rolled her. 

Though maidens still are teasing. 
And smile at lovers' squeeiing; 
To be half drowned by batan's imp 
Must surely be displeasing. 

So for two Godly preachers 

They sent—and thought these 

Of holy things could vanquish fiends, 
And such unholy creatures. 

And first, good Mr. Parry 
Essayed to fight old Harry : 
"^Catti," saith he. ** show me the fiend. 
For here be shall not tarry.** 

Quoth CatU, *' What doth blind yott| 
Good sir, — ne's just behind you, 
A Crowning devil, grim and sour. 
And faith I he doesn't mind you." 

But Parry had not decked him 
With armour to protect him, 
Of faith and grace, so trembled lest 
The fiend should thence eject him. 

For quoth the fiend, ** Good Father, 
For all that you can eatber 
Ofprayer and pater, ril not stir, 
'To stay hero I would rather." 

So since this fiend ungracious 
Had thus proved contumacious, 
*Twas thought the holy Mr. Jones 
Had means moro emcacious. 


And the poor folk affrighted, 
The rev'rend man invited. 
To come and lay this spirit bold, 
That Parry's power nad slighted. ^ 

Quoth Jones, '* Hence, thing of evil, 
Get out ! unruly devil, 
Get thee to India or to h— — 1, 
Cease this unholy revel." 

The fiend all pale and shaking. 
His language bold forsaking, 
Said, '* Mr. Jones, pray, don't be hard, 
My leave I'll now be taking. 

" All we dark fiends below, sir, 
Your name and virtues know, air— 
We tremble all when Tones is near, 
So, if you please, I'll go, sir." 

So that is all about it, 
The fiend, and how to rout it,— 
The tale of course may be quite true, 
But I'm inclined to doubt it I 

The Legend of the DivisioN of the Parishes op Llan- 


In olden time, the boundary of the Parish of Llangyn- 
wyd was more extensive than at present, and it included the 
present Parish of Margam within its limits. When a separa- 
tion was decided upon, a very ingenious and unusual method 
was adopted to fix the boundary line between the two. It 
happened that there was in the neighbourhood a lunatic, who 
was familiarly spoken of as " The Wild Man " (** Y Dyji 
Cwyllt "^, in safe custody, and it was determined to free this 
person, and to let the division follow the direction he might 
take when given his liberty. The spot to start from was 
agreed upon to be at a well, known as ** Ffynon y Wern,*' in 
a dale below- Hkvod-decaf. The men of Llangynwyd and 
the tenants of Margam mustered in strong force, with a view 
to offering as much resistance as they could on each side 
respectively : the interest of Llangynwyd being to retain, and 
of Margam to obtain as large a share as possible. The 
lunatic, whose name seems to have . been '* Robin," when 
released, started off in the direction of Margam Mountain, 
where he took to the old Roman road, now known as " Heol 
y Moch," along which he continued until he reached a high 
point on Blaencwmcerwn Mountain. Here the Margam 
men blocked his wav, which forced him to take the direction 
of the ** Cwm." When he reached this, the men of Llangyn- 
wyd made him retrace his steps, until he reached the Aian - 


River, thereby obtaining considerable advantage. There a 
person, who was following him closely, threw a hook with so- 
much force, that it hamstrung, and caused him to fall into- 
the river, where he was drowned ; the pool into which he 
fell being known as '* Pwll Robin *' to this day« The River 
Aian divides Llangynwyd from Glyncorrwf^ and Michael- 
stone Super* Afan on the north ; the brook which runs through 
Cwm yr Aber being its southern boundary. The western 
boundary line, as given on the map, justifies a good deal of 
the old Robin legend, for in some parts it is difficult to- 
suppose that the line could have been willingl3r drawn. 
Whether there be any truth in the story or not, it is now 
impossible to ascertain ; certain it is that the legend has been 
handed down from father to son for many generations, and 
was, and even now is, extensively believed in, though 
traditions are not so readily accepted now as they were in 
the past. Nor is there much interest taken in the matter of 
boundary, for there are now but few persons living who have 
ever traced and followed the' division supposed to have been 
made by the '* Wild Man's '* wanderings, and those few are 
now octogenarians. The boundary was originally marked by 
upright stones, some of which were taken cognizance of by 
the Ordnance surveyors a few vears since. About 70 years 
ago, the boundary was walked over for the last time, the 
Rev. Bruce Knight, of Margam, having read an exhortation 
' from the Book of Homilies on ** Twmpaih Diwlith ** on the 
occasion, and on a place known as *' BlacH FfyUon'^ 

About the latter period, a dispute arose between the 
parishioners of Michael Super-Afan and those of Margam 
with reference to the ownership of the bed of the River Afan. 
Mr. Griffith Llewelyn, who was agent for Mr. Talbot, of 
Margam, ordered all the Mar|;am tenants to meet him on a 
specified day at '* Pwll Robm," charging each one to bring 
with him the best horse he possessed. Upwards of sixty of 
them met together at the appointed time, and were instructed 
by Mr. Llewelyn to ride along the river from ** Pwll Robin '* 
to the sea, Mr. Llewelyn himself and the Rev. Bruce 
Knight accompanying them. PhjB Michaelstone men met 
them in strong force, and disputed with them every step of 
the way, the conflict at times becoming hot and furious. On 
Aberavon moors, quite a serious collision took place, several 
of the Margam men being frightfully beaten. 


^Colloquial Words and Expreuions, collected withm the Parish of 

iDAR Morganwg. 
Adnabod saethu wrth y swrn. 
Adnabod un yn mhrig v fr&n. 

Agor un bwlch i gauad y llall. To open one gap to fill 
jinother ; spoken of those who sell one thing to pay for another. 

Agor am lawer a chauad am ddim. 

A glywo'r gwcw fydd by w flwyddyn eto. 

Anach. This word, according to Dr. Pughe, means an 
impediment— one that is dull or slow ; but it has a different 
meaning when used by the inhabitants in this parish. " Mae 
anach gwlaw ganddi,"— it threatens rain; '*Maeyn anach 
peidio talu,*'— there is doubt as to whether he will pay or 
not, &c. 

Anhawdd twyllo hen adar. 

Anhawdd bwyta blawd ceirch a chwiban. 

Anhawdd tynu m^l o host. 

Arllwys ei gwd. To divulge a secret. 

Armerth, — bord armerth. A peculiar kind of a table to 
knead dough upon. Crochan armerth : a special crock, in 
which the uwd (porridge) was prepared. 

Ar y gybildra. In full speed. . ^. 

Ar y coesau diwedda*. 

Bacsa. Footless stockings. Bacso. To trample. 

Balish. Doatingly, or foolishly fond. 

Bessie Fingam. A wry-mouthed, or peevish woman. 

Betin. The turf, or surface sward of a field when 
pared by a particular sort of hand plough, and afterwards 
dried in the sun, and burnt. Betingwr, is the name given to 
/the man who cuts the sward. 

Bid rhyngoch. w^r Pentyrch. 

Biwbo. Jew's harp. 

BlingoV Dwch. Vomiting. 

Briwlach.— Briwlach gwlaw ; briw-wlaw. Drizzling rain. 

Brachgai. To ride on horseback. 

Bwyta pen y pr^f. 


Buarth o gylch y lleuad, is a name given to the ring, or 
Maht which is seen about the moon on a misty night. 

Bwa*r wrJich. Bwa*r Drindod. The rainbow. 

Bwdal, Bwdalacs, neu Mwdal, for Ueid-bwU — puddle. 

Cafflo bola i drwsio pen. Robbing the belly to decorate 
the head. 

Calan fara. The cakes given to the poor in olden days 
at the Church porch on the ist of January. 

Canu maswedd. Said of every kind of singing except 
psalms and hymns. 

Careg-maen-n&dd. The Bridgend freestone. 

Canddo, for Cadno. Canddo o ddi warnod. A fox of a day. 

Canad, for Caniat&d. Of a contraction, and corruption, 
very good ; much preferable to the other mongrel which is so 
generally used. Cenad — a messenger. 

Cadw own, a chyfarth ei hunan* 

Caws o fola'r ci. 

Cefiyl uncarn. A walking stick. 

Clem, cewc, gwep. These are words often used when 
someone makes ugly faces about something. 

Clwc ; wy clwc— an addled egg. It is also used to denote 
a p>erson who is poorly : Mae hi yn glwc iawn. She is very 

Clatsien. A smack. Mi roes iddo glatsien. I gave him a 

Chwerthin cilbochau, 

Cysgu ci bwtsiwr. 

Conach :— Pwy gonach wyt ti ? Why dost thou whine ? 

C61 gwas diog. 

Cuwch gwd a ffetan. 

Dala newyn wrth fedydd: spoken when a poor man 
christens his loth child. Holding hunger at the font. 

Dala Uygoden a'i bwyta. Catching a mouse and eating 
it,— for improvidence or poverty. ^ A;-.i^ */iV i. . ^^u:^^ £; k^^.^ 

Deiliaid Margam. The tenants of Margam. 

Dan y dw'r. Under water, said of one in debt, or dis* 
tressed for money. 

Diwedd y gan yw*r geiniog.* For " after the song pay the 

Diawl v *myto i : a very common but foolish oath. May 
the devil devour me. 

Duw deisyfon ni : a peculiar kind of adjuration ; but, if it . . 
were properly uttered, would be a most appropriate prayer. 
Lord, we beseech Thee* Expressive of astonishment or 


Duw dalo i ti, and Duw cato ni. " The Lord reward thee, 
and protect thee,** are mild oaths very often heard expressed* 

Dwylaw blewog. Hairy hands. Applied to a person 
who is given to pilfering. 

*Does dim dau heb dri. 

*Does dim dau Gymro o*r un meddwL There are no two 
Welshmen of the same opinion. 

Dyn llethig. An excessive eater. 

Dyn dimofol. A witty person. Dyn diofal. Careless. 

Dyn cry^rus. A naughty mischievous person. 

Dyn Ivsti. An active pernon. 

Dyn Iloriog. A sly, cunning, fawning, circumventing 
sort of a fellow. 

Dyn gwirion. In Glamorgan, an inoffensive man. In 
North Wales, a fool. 

Dyn gwisgi. A quick, nimble person. The word is used 
also in another sense : cnau gwisgi, slip-shelled nuts, &c. 

Dodi'r car o flaen y ccffyl. To put the cart before the 

Dwywaith yn blentyn, ac unwaith yn ddyn. Once a 
man, twice a child. 

Dysg dy famgu i bedoli hwyaid. Teach thy grandmother 
to shoe ducks. {Emlish : To suck eggs.) 

Eli penelin. Elbow grease. Eli*r galon. Good ale, tea, 
and tobacco. 

Enllyn trwyn. Snuff. 

Eos bren. A poor singer. A wooden nightingale. 

Ei bwyo'n banas. To beat him hollow. 

Ewa. Uncle, in fond speech. 

Etifeddiaeth y byd mawr, bod heb ddim. 

Enw mawr a byd bach. 

Fel Hong ar dir.sych. Like a ship on dry land. 

Pel clap y felin. Like the clap of the mill. 

Fel Ueuen mewn crachen. Like a louse in a scab. 

Fel crochan yn berwi. Like the crock boiling. 

Fel cleren mewn pot. 

Fel bwch i odyn. 

Fel ystam ar gefn ci. 

Ffusto pen ceffyl marw. Working to pay an old debt. 

Firwmwndws, walu ffrwmwndws. To talk nonsense. 

Ffrechan,— ffrechan o wlaw, neu o eira. A sprinkling of 
rain, or snow. 

Ffliwen. A clout. Rho ffliwen iddo. Give him a clout. 

Ffedog y ddafad. Mackerel sky. 

Gauaf cynar, hir y trif;. 

Goleufur. Northern lights. 


Gair dros ysgwydd. Not seriously meant. 

Gadewch chwi Sion Llwyd yn llonydd. He is well able 
to hold his own. 

Grabin y wil. A case of labour, or confinement. 

Gormod o ganfas am rot. Too good a promise. 

Gwanid, or more properly, gwan*yd. Tail com. 

GweU baw o bell, na m61 o agos. 

Gwneuthur melin ac eglwys. To project or undertake 
too large labours. 

GweU cynghor hen na'i faeddu. 

Gwyr yr Hen Blwyf, tlawd a batch. The men of the Old 
Parish, poor and proud. 

Gwyr y Brenin Sion, saith ugain y cant. King John's 
men, seven score to the hundred ; short people. 

Gw^r Abertawe*n tynu wrth y rha£fau. Said when the 
sun is near setting. 

Gwylhersa, chwareu gwylhersi. Children playing and 

Gwinio*r gofid yn ei chylch. Said when a woman is seen 
sewing a rent in her dress without taking it off. 

Harlach, mae'n harlach gwyllt yno. There is quite a 
kick up there. 

Hawdd tynu gwaed o hen Iwgr. 

Hen weddal. A corruption of chwidl, an old stor}^. 

Hen grochan o ddyn. One who takes in everything. 

Hen ridill. One who tells all he knows. 

Hela diffrwyth i gdl, said of one who idles his time away 
doing nothing. 

Heddwch gw^r mawr. Great folks' peace*--a cold reserve. 

Hdl ac hebrwng. 

Hwldi-drebwldwr. Helter-skelter. 

Hur yr tn, a bwyta fyno. 
. lorden : Tori iorden, a'i wado, ncu ei lachio. ' To cut a 
rod, and beat him. 

Inisient. A man not in his right mind. From the 
English, Innocent. 

Iro dwylaw. To bribe. 
. Llap y dwndwr. Tea,— Chatter-water. 

Llap y deri. A lubberly fellow. 

Llawer ffordd i ladd ci heb ei dagu o 'fenyn. 

Lie mae'r ystarn yn gwasgu. 

Lleidr yw llety. 

Lie mae wyau, daw rhagor. 

Llwnc y trothwy. A greedy stomach* 

Llwygan. Loafing. 

Llusgo gwrysgen g^fydd ei brig. 



Mab Mair i*th ran. The son of Mary be thy portion. 

Mae baw yn y caws. There is something wrong. 

Mae croen ei dtn ar ei dalcen, said of one in a bad temper* 

Magu esgym bach. 

Mae aroswch yn air hir i*r gwancus. 

Mae drwg yn ei lawes. 

Mae tro yn ei ^nffon. 

Mae awch ar ei gryman. 

Mae'r dydd yn tynu ei gwt ato. 

Maethgen : Mi roes iddo faethgen. I gave him a good 

Mae tri chynyg i Gymro. There are three chances for a 

Mae dwy wyneb i ystlys o gig moch. 

Merch y crydd. A shoe. 

Mesur brethyn pawb wrth ei lathen ei hun. 

Modfedd o fachgen, a mynydd o ferch. 

Mor dy wyll a bola buwch. 

Mor deneu a rhaca. As thin as a rake. 

Mor feddw a whilber. As drunk as a wheelbarrow. 

Mor dylawd a Uygoden Eglwys. As poor as a Church 

Mor onest a'r gyrchen. 

Mor civil a hwch mewn soil. 

Morwyn gwr mawr a hwch melinydd. 

Mor iach a'r ceiros. 

Myned drwy wrysg y cae. 

Myn Jaics, Myn Jawcs, Jacits, Jaws, Jais erioed. A 
parenthetic apology k)r Myn Diawl, like the English '* By 
Gosh." &c., for •• By God." 

f Myn Brain. yThis curious oath may have reference to 
** the ravens of^ien." See the Welsh Mabinogum. 

N6s penelin nag arddwrn. 

Ni waeth dywedyd wrtho, careg a thwU. 

Ni ellir lladd mochyn bob dydd. One cannot have a 
feast everjr day. 

Ni Cheir chwareu &*r afal. a*i iwyta hefyd. 

Nyfath. A veiy common word for a multitude. A rabble. 

O Arswydl O Terror 1 an ejaculation expressive of 
astonishment, or fear. 

O dan ei grwys. Lying in state. 
Oen partha. A hearth-stone lamb. 
Partha^buwch bartha. A tame cow. 
Penllawr,— a passage in very old farmhouses, between the 
place the cattle were kept and the dwelling-house :— the Cigin^ 
and miuuUf and if there happen to be another and a better 


room, it was called v vo9m gonit, or foom bach; parlours 
only belonged to the dwellings of the gentry in olden times, 
such as were to be seen in the mansion of ** Ifor Hael," and 
referred to by the Demetian Nightingale in his poems. 

Petu. This word is ffenerally used when a person is 
continually complaining when there appear to be no cause. 
Piidiwch a pkitu is often said to a man who finds £siult with | 

Providence, because he does not get all his covetous ! 

nature wishes for, though possessed of sufficient, if he could \ 

but enjoy it with contentment. j 

Pigcwdyn. A rip. 

Pina. A weakling. 

Pica. Sharp, pert, impudent. 

Pinp^wn. A gable end. 

Pintwn : yn mhob pen mse piniwn. In every head there 
is an opinion. 

Pobl y Bettws. 

Priodi drwy'r berth. 

Pilio wyau. 

Pob peth newydd, dedwydd da. 

Rathu, for Brathu. To sting, or stab. 

Rhaid cael dau fTol i £fraeo. 

Rhanu blewyn yn bedwar*ar-ddeg. 

RhefTyn pen bys. An extempore sermon. 

Rhwng seiri a phorthmyn. 

Rhys o'r mynydd. A peculiar name given to the wind. 

Rhwng cynffon y diawl a thwU ei d— n. 

Rhwyllo : Mae*r gwlaw yn rhwyllo. The rain ceases. 

Saem coUen. A good drubbing. 

Sang di fang. 

Sion 'run siwd. 

Siani naill ochr. 

Sion pob ochr. 

Scleis. A most curious name given to a fire shovel. 

Shini fiewog. The palmer worm. 

Shaw. A very common word, meaning a large number: 
Shaw o ddyniou. A lot of people, &c. 

Slebis. Mess. Paid a gwneyd dy slebis. Don't make 
thy mess. 

Siencyn esmwyth. A kind of light food, consisting of 
bread soaked in water, with a little butter, sugar, and nutmeg. 

Sug. A short chain used before the plough. 

Trtnsiwrn. The old wooden plate, evidently from the 
£nglish trencher. 

'Ta'r byd yn myned yn badelli* 

Taflu p^l 1 d6. 


! Taflu Uuwch (llwch) i lygad. 

! Taflu'r droed oU'n mlaena*. 

; Teisien toes a chwnad*-teisien heb wybod iV slop. 

j Teisien fras felus — teisien lap. 

Taplas groes, taplas g&s. These are expressions used 
when a contention between two separate sects is spoken of, 
and opposition meetings are held. 
j Talmu: *does dim yn talmu arno. Naught makes an 

impression on him. 
; Tomen flodeuog. A slut in finery, a fiowerinfi^ dunghill. 

Tori cleddyf Arthur. To break, or cut Arthur's sword. 
This is an exploit performed by the children at their plays* 
I Tawlu yn ei ddanedd. To upbraid one with anything. 

Twm pob tamaid. An adept at anything. 
t Trwst, twrf, tyrfa, trysa. Thunder, 

f Trysa a llychid. Thunder and lightning. 

I Twna. An obstinate, mulish disposition. 

j Walbi. A sagacious person. 

Walu, wleua, for chwedleua. To talk. 
Watch aur, neu glun bren. " A gold watch, or a wooden 
j leg." (Neck or nothing.) 

Wedi carno*i filwg. 
Wedi ei chnapio hi. A little drunk, 
Wedi bod ar y gridill. 
_ Wedi myned dros y cenglau : said of one who has taken 

too much drink. 

Wedi estyn ei goes. 

Wedi myned i glwb y racs. One newly married. 

Y gwr daclws gerws. 

Y llygaid yn fwy na*r bola. 

Yn bris o gant punt. — 

Yn ffolach na .dail bysedd y c^n. 

Yr hen wlanen. A simpleton. 

Yr hwch fud sv*n difa'r s6g. 

Ystlys gerdded. 

Yn poeri fel gwcw. 

Yn mhob o dipyn mae gw&n bys i d— n gwybedyn, 

Ymgreinad. To roll about with pain. 

Yn ddyled o glust i glust. In debt from ear to ear. 

Weather Progftcsticatiotts. The cat washing her ears is a 
sign of wet weather ; but if done when sitting with her back 
towards the fire, it is considered to be a prediction of a snow 

When the swallows are seen flying high, it is the sign of 
fair weather ; but when flying low or near the earth, rain will 


To see sea-gulls coming in great number inland is a most 
unmistakeable prediction of stormy weather (iywydi crsulon). 

The sheep bleating and walking about restlessl:yr, and the 
crows croaking, are looked upon as sure signs of rain. 

Swine carrying straws in their mouths, and walking with 
their heads against the wind, are put down as predicting 
a heavy gale of wind. 

The following fragments were quoted by the old people as 
weather prognostications : — 

*' Bwa Driodod y borau, ami gawodau t— 
BwaDrindod prydnawD, tegwcb a gawa.** 

A rtinbow in tki mommg h tki skiplUri'i wiumin§, 
A raittbom 4$ night is th$ ikepk$rd:$ delight, 

Paa gollir y gwlaw, o'r gogledd y daw,— 
Pao gollir yr hioon, o'r dwyrain daw atoiD. 

Y wylan fach adnebydd. 
Pan fo'n gyfoewid tywydd ; 
Hi bed yn deg ar aden wen, 
O'r mor i beo y mynydd. 

Fe neidia'r gatb yn boew, 
RbwDg Rwynt a tbywydd garw | 
Hi dro'i phen-ol tuag at y gwret, 
Po nesaf byddo'i fwrw. 

Pan welir moel y Caera' 
Yn gwisgo tap y bora' ; 
Ond odid fawr cyn baoer dydd, 
Bydd ar ei grudd bi ddagra.' 

Pan gly wer y mor yn crocblefain yn flin. 
A'r cwmwl yn dew dros ben Castell Penllin ; 
Os gwir y ddiareb. mae cawod o wlaw 
Yn magu'n yr wybren, a'i syrtbiad gerllaw. 

TtansUted by lolo Aforgnnwg, 

Wben the boarse waves of Severn are screaming aloud, 
And Pennine's lofty Castle's involved in a cloud ; 
If true tbe old proverb, a shower of rain 
Is brooding above, and will soon drench tbe plain. 

Pan fyddo Mynydd Caera* 
A'i gap yn cuddo'i gopa : 
O niwlyn tew. am byny taw- 
Mae ynddi wlaw mi brwfa. 


A\Cur$forike Whooping Cough.^Som^ old people believed 
that pthe following was a certain cure for the Whooping 
Cough : — To cut some of the hair o£f the back of the head of 
the child who was su£fering with the complaint, and place it 


between two pieces of bread and butter, and give it to a dog, 
directing the animal to go out of the house. It was believed 
the Whooping Cough would leave the child at the same time. 

Water «ud in Christening, — Years ago, christening was 
usually i)erformed at the home of the infant's parents. The 
vicar, or incumbent of the parish, was asked to the house where 
his services were required, and a good deal of preparation was 
made to receive him. After the christening was over, the 
water was carefully taken to the garden, and thrown over the 
leek-bed; or, if it happened that there were no leeks, 
then over anything green, the general idea being that some- 
thing unlucky would happen to the child if this was not 

When a magpie crossed the path of a person in the morn- 
ing, it was supposed to foretell an evil day. This super- 
stition is cited in the following triplet :— 

''Pan fyddo i Bia britbwyn, 

Groesi'th ffordd i'r blewyn ; 
Fe ellir dodi hyny lawr, 

Fod aflwydd mawr yn canlyn.*' 

Formerly, when a person had his hair cut, the hair was 
most carefully collected, and placed on the fire. If it did 
not kindle into a flame, this was considered an infallible 
indication that the newly-shorn one would die within that 

When an owl was heard hooting early in the night from 
one of the yews in the churchyard, it was looked upon as a 
sign that some unmarried girl of the Village of Llangynwyd 
had forsaken the path of chastity. There are, even now^ 
persons who maintain the trustworthiness of this sign. 

It was supposed that on All Hallows' eve a disembodied 
spirit was seated oh every stile and every cross road. 

Cure for Rheumatism.^The cure of this paihful complaint 
was supposed to be assured if a little powdered brimstone 
were worn in the stocking. 

Cerdin, or Mountain Ash. — There are localities in the Parish 
named after this tree, presumably on account of* its having 
been plentiful in these spots. The Mountain Ash (Rowan 
tree) was supposed to be possessed of great virtue, and the 
use to which it was put were numerous. 

I. A garter of the green bark, being worn, was considered 
a protection against the powers of witches, conjurors, and 
sorcerers of every degree. 

IL In the days of cock fighting, a small ring of the 
slender twigs was placed in the cock pit. It was thought 


that when fighting over these, no evil power should throw 
any spell over the combatant birds, or impair their courage. 

III. The old bards were also in the habit of carving their 
letterl on this tree. They regard it as charmed wood, 
b^ause worms would not devour it, and their belief was, that 
no fiend, tricksy spirit, or malicious imp, had power in any 
house where it was kept, nor could witchery, enchantment, or 
poison, harm those who bore it about their persons. 

On New Year's night, tradition says, it was a custom with 
the wise and courageous old men of the Parish to sit up all 
ni((ht in the Church porch. On that night, it was said, a 
voice, emanating from beneath the altar table, pronounced 
the names of those who should die within the coming year. 

To see a single crow in the morning, when startmg on a 
journey, was most unlucky, and portended an unfortunate 
journey ; but to see two crows together was, on the contrary* 
a most happy omen :— 

Dwy fran ddn, I Two crowt I t«f, 
Lwc dda i mi. | Good huh to m. 

Those who were born after dark, and before midnight, 
were supposed to be gifted with suond sights or the faculty of 
seeing and hearing signs of death, &c. 

Washing hands in water after another person is unlucky. 
Perhaps this idea has some connection with the story of 
Pilate washing his hands at the trial of our blessed Saviour. 

Butter made by a woman with red hair is reputed not to 
keep wholesome for many days. 


Ffyftoft Gynwyd. — This well is in the Village, which afiords 
the inhabitants the only supply of pure water. It was, as the 
name proves, dedicated to the Patron Saint of the Church, {t is 
said that a well in Llangynwyd was anciently p ossessed 
healing qualities, and was consequently resorted to by large 
numbers of pilgrims ; but whether this, or Ffynon Fair (the 
Virgin's Weil), a little way from the Parish Church, was the 
one in question, it is now impossible to discover. 

Ffynon Fair.— There are two wells in the Parish bearing 
this name, probably from having been dedicated to the 
Virgin. One is situated about 300 yards from the Church,— 
the other on DyiOfryn Llynfi. The distance between them is 
said to be exactly three miles. 

Ffynon Wrgan, or Gwr^aii.— Situated on Llwyni Farm, 
named most probably after Gwrgant, Prince of Glamorgan.. 

Ffynon Rhydhalog.-^** The well of the defiled, or desecrated 


Ford." On the road to Bridgend, near Caemabifor. The 
legend connected with this well is as follows :— Some fifty 
years ago, a quarrel arose between two women who lived at 
Tre*r Cadlef, near the well» originating from an accusation 
made by one of them against the children of the other, that 
they polluted the water by taking dirty vessels to fetch water 
therefrom, and otherwise disturbing the limpidity of the 
spring. Consequent upon this ill-feeling, it is said that 
the water became of a reddish colour, and so remained 
while the women remained living in the vicinity. 

A well at Ffos is said to have become turbid and unfit 
for use from a similar cause^the belligerents in this case 
being sisters, Maud and Callin (Caroline ?) Samuel, living at 
Ffos, and Fibs Fach, respectively. The water is said to 
hare become of a reddish colour, so foetid that horses 
would not drink of it, and to have so remained while the 
quarrelsome sisters remained in the place. 

FfyttM lagc-^^esLt Cwmcerwyn Fach, on a small farm 
formerly called Ffynon lago. 

FfynoH Vysgar (or more properly called Wysgar), from 
Wysg, the Gaelic for water, whence Usk, £sk, &c., situated 
on a spot called the Warren, on Gadlys Farm. The water 
of this well is remarkably cool, and was formerly credited 
with medicinal virtues. In past years many visited it for 
the purpose of bathing their limbs, as well as drinking the 
water, and removing various ailments. 

Ffynon y Gilfach.^k mineral spring on Gilfach Mountain. 
Some thirty years ago, this well was in high repute, and 
scores of people resorted to it to drink the water, some 
lodging during their course of treatment at Llangynwyd 
Village. The water is foetid in smell, and unpleasant to the 
taste ; but there is no account of a chemical analysis of it 
having been made. 

Ffynon Gilfach haf.^k strong stream of water, which 
^rings from the living rock, at a height of several yards. 
The spring is not affected by the driest seasons, and is in 
high repute in the treatment of broken and sprained limbs. 
It is not, perhaps, so frequently resorted to for those pur- 
poses as it might be were it moie conveniently situated. 

Ffywm Rkysfa.^Rhysfa : a feeding place, a sheepwalk, a course. 
— This well is on the road side, on the hill leading from Maes- 
teg to Llangynwyd Village. The water is of excellent quality, 
pipes are now laid from it, and its water utilized by the 
lonabitants of a large district. 


Rbmarkablb Evbnts, &c. 

About the year z68o» a sister and brother, twins, under 
three years of age, left their bed at night, and wandered 
from ryle through darkness, and over a rough mountain 
road to Llangynw]rd, a distance of five miles, where they 
were found on their mother's grave, who had lately been 
buried there. 

T tywydd brwnt oedd o*tt bran, 
Gwynt a gwUw byd gerlla^*r Llaa, 
Dan nawdd a'« gwdawdd Dow gwya 

DMJyU BiwaH Fgrgtm £'i OM. 

On July 14th, 1825, the lower half of a child was seen 
conveyed by a dog, by a certain woman living at Llangyn- 
wyd. It was supposed that the child had been murdered, 
mutilated, and concealed in some place, where it had been 
discovered by the animal. No clue was ever obtained to 
the parentage of the child, or the perpetrator of the crime. 

November 4th, 1847, Dr. Bowrin^ (afterwards Sir John 
Bowring, the distinguished diplomatist and scholar,) and 
his brother, Mr. Charles Bowring, were robbed while driving 
from Bridgend to Maesteg. The gentlemen had been at 
Bridgend obtaining the money for the ensuing pay day at 
the Llynfi Iron Works. Near the roadside house called 
Greenmeadow, they were stopped, their horse shot, and 
themselves so intimidated with pistols that they gave up the 
money. The robbers, who turned out to be two Irishmen 
formerly employed at the works, having secured their booty* 
which amounted to several thousand pounds, made o£f across 
the fields to the mountains, and buried the money in a copse, 
and the Messrs. Bowring separated, one hurr3ring forward to 
Maesteg, while the other returned to Bridgend. On the 
matter becoming known at Maesteg, nearly the whole of the 
men engaged at the works, turn^ out in pursuit of the 
thieves; and, after some search, captured them in the neigh- 
bourhood of Margam. Nearly the whole of the money was 
recovered, and the thieves received the full punishment of the 
law. An iron column was erected to commemorate the event« 
on the exact scene of the robbery, but was some years ago 
pulled down. 

The Asiatic Cholera has ravaged the parish on three se- 
veral occasions— in 1832, 1849, and x866. The Local Board 
of Health for Cwmdu district was established in 1858, and 
on the district beings in 1877, extended so as to include part 
of the Upper Hamlet, when the title of the Board was changed 
to that of the «• Maesteg Board of Health.*' It is understood 


that the Local Government Board contemplates a still further 
extension of the area under the control of the Board of Health* 

The new church-yard at Llangynwyd was completed 
in 1859. 

December 26th, 1864, a serious explosion took place at 
the Gin Pit, at the Llynn Works, when 14 lives were lost. 

An explosion also took place at Oakwood Collieryr 
January nth, 1872, and 11 lives were lost. 

The Llangynwyd Burial Board was established in 1870^ 
and the Cemetery on Brithdir was completed in 1882. 

Some of the old measures in use in this Parish, previous* 
to the passing of the "Uniformity Act*' of weights and 
measures in the year 1826 :• 

1 Provincial Iniahel ... 

2 Llestriad 

% (teals) tdaid 

si quarts 

4 quarters 

4 bushels 

3 pecks 

5 quarts x pedwran or quarter. 

X pedwraa x pecaid of com, and x bobe of lime. 

4 pecaid ... • x fleiitraid of corn of 20 galloas. 

4 Itestraid x cnroog, or craowg of lime, and 

10 Winchester bushels. 

Measures varied much in different localities, even in the 
same county, in olden time; there were measures called 
** Llath Eglwysilan,'* " £rw Llangiwc,*' a •* rhyfar M frthyr ." 

The word ** Cyfar,*' in Glamorganshire, means as much 
as a day's ploughing of one yoke, or team. 

40 ... i\ 

Bo ... 2J 

x6o ... 5 

\ Winchester bushel. 

X quarter. 

X peck. 

X barrel of lime. 

X bushel of xo gallons of Con. 


NviMry Rbymet.— AncieAt ciutomt aad obtervui€et.«-Gw7l Mabsaat— 
The Parlth Wake, or tb* Vigil of the Patron Saint.— Carol Singing.— 
WaMaiUng.— Y Gaicg Fedi.-Tlie Cooluin Fcaac— AU Hallows'^ 
Eva.— Kew Yaar. Ac, Ac. 

Nursery Rhymes. 

tHE history of Nursery Rhymes is lost in the mist of an- 
tiquity. They are a species of hterature which cannot 
now be produced. AH juvenile literature worth the 
name comes down to us from the dark ages ; and children are 
the most conservative creatures in their tastes, for, spite of the 
floods of new books that are annually written for them, and 
that litter the nurseries at Christmas, none of them take the 

glace of the old ones. The stories of ** Jack and Jill," of ** Cock 
lobin,'* of ** Jack Horner," are immortal. No child is ever 
heard singing *' Alice in Wondeiland," "Through the 
Looking-glass," or ** Water Babies," admirable as these are ; 
but << Sing a Song for Sixpence," or •* Old Mother Hubbard," 
are lisped by countless thousands, and they promise to stand 
on the summit of eternity, and see time itself into its grave. 

Nursery Rhymes are very mysterious things, the secret 
of their vitality defying analysis. In them, nonsense is epi- 
tomized, etherealized, and immortalized. Thev are perfect 
perorations, insomuch as nothing can be adaed to them, 
nothing subtracted from them. " The house that Jack built " 
has been built to last for ever, requiring no repairs, no fur- 
nishing, nor cleaning, nor polishing. It is as bright to-dav 
as on the day it first burst on the vision of the nrst child. 
There is no scamping work in it ; no contractor made a 
profit out of it ; no landlord claims any rent for it. It is the 
commonpropertyof the juvenile race of mankind, and, strange 
to say, there are no quarrels for its possession, for it is vast 
enough to contain the affection of every child bom. It standi 
as firm as the Pyramids, is, probably, much older, and will 
certainly outlast them. 

Welsh Nursery Rhymes, so far as can be discovered, are 
sui gituris. They are not derived from any other language, or 


people ; but are a home product. They have not been im- 
ported from another tongue, or speech, nor are thev exported 
into any other language* The few specimens that follow have 
been collected in the neighbourhood of Llangynwyd. They 
arenot» perhaps, so rich, or so suggestive ot childhood, as 
the mass of English rhymes ; but they are of the soil and race, 
whilst nearly all Nursery Rhymes in English, German, 
French, and Italian, are derived from one common source — 
that of Scandinavia. Were Wales searched over, no doubt a . 
goodly volume might be collected. Their fault is (if they 
have one) in being too ethical. Most of them contain a 
lesson, or a moral. 

Your true abstract Nursery Rhymes are above and beyond 
all that sort of thing. They are a law unto themselves, sub- 
ject to no court, no pulpit, and no school. In the juvenile 
republic of letters, no child wants the *' Sparrow *' punished 
for murdering " Cock Robin," of the •• Dish ** lectured for 
running away with the *' Spoon." They may go on commit- 
ting those enormities till Doomsday, and will be all the more 
beloved lor their continuance in wrong doing. Even Blue 
Beard's deeds are not wished undone. The juvenile world 
would lose a thrilling sensation were *' Sister Anne *' silenced, 
and the six headless ladies abolished. There is a time for 
everything, and there is loom for, and an age set aside for, 
the enjoyment of nonsense. Many things thai are habitually 
said by grown up people are only saved from that realm and 
age by mere assumption. The line of separation is frequently 
too thin for human vision. A mind that contains no corner 
in it for the enjoyment of trifles is an imperfect mind. What 
a grand corrective nonsense is to the over assumption of wis- 
dom ; to the ponderous pretentions of science. Who does not 
sympathise with Sidney Smith, when after listening to a long 
and dull lecture on the ** fly's eye,*' took upon him mockingly 
to dispute the fact of its being abnormally large as insisted 
upon by the lecturer on the ground of ancient testimony 
against that fact : — 

" Who saw him die ? 
I said the fly 
With my little eye, 
I saw him die/* 

One can picture the amazed " Professor,'* and Sidney's 
face must have been a fine subject for study. Was it not 
Southey who said, that ** amidst very learned talk he always 
felt disposed to burst out in a long farrago of nonsense just 
to correct the atmosphere," and he had formed in his mind 
the sentences to use, which were wildly absurd ? 



LUnbedr ar lyBydd, Llanbedr ar Fra, 
Pan y Catoewydd, ac eCail y Go* ; 
Llanbadr ar FrO| Uanbedr ar fynydd, 
Efiftil X Oo\ a pben y Casoawydd. 

. Rbo*wch imi fentbyg cafiyl. i fysed troa y Ian, 

I fani'r ferch beafelyii ay'n byw gyda'i tbad a*i mam ; I 

AC ODi ddaw ya foddog, a1 gwaddol gyda hi, i 

Gadawaf hi yn Uonydd, gwaeth bacbgea pert wyl ft. 

llaa gea* i ebol melyn o gwmpai tair blwydd oad, | 

A pbadair pedol ariaa o daa «i bedair troed ; ,; 

Ml naidUis ar at gala i fya'd tua Pben-y-laa, ^ 

I gam'r fercb facb ilaoc ty'n byw gyda'i tbad a'i mam. \ 

Siglo*r cawall caou Hiw— dyna waitb oa wnai'n fy mvw ; 

Sigio'r oyd a cbaau Lwli— dyaa waitb na waaf alaai. j 

Pin o'wn i*n myn'd tua'r ytgol* 

A'r llyfrynfy'mllaw. 
Heibio'r Bglwya newydd ^ 

A't cloc yn taro naw, 
Mali, Mali, cwyn. mae beddyw'n forau mwya 1 
Maa'r adar bacb yn ti wno. a'r gwcw yn y Uwya. 


Mae'n dda gan ben-wr iwd a llaetb, 
Mae'n dda gan gatb lygoden ; 
Maa'n dda gan 'radwr flaen ar swcb, 
Maa'n dda gan bwch gaal m9sen.' 

Marc, a Meirig, b'le buocb cbwi*n pori? 
Ar y waun lai tubwnt i 'Berbonddu ; 
Betb gawsocb cbwi yoo yn well nag yma ? 
** Porla frat. a dwr ffynona*. ** 

Dere, Pegi, cwyd yn wiigi, 
Nid oet adeg i ti oedi ; 

Dere i gynu t&n i'r teulu. ; 

Bwyd yn barod wy'n ei bem,<— . ] 

Hi ddaw yn glan yn bump o'r glocb, \ 

Maa'r ceiliog oocb yn canu. • 

Ding, dong, medd y glocb. 
Pmssing-biU y bachgeu coch ; . 
Os y bachgen cocb fo farw, 
Ffarwel i'r gwin a'r cwrw. 

Ding, dong, Bela. | 
Canu clocb 'Bertawe : 

Tynu'r rhaff o dan y dr^va, | 

A chanu cloch y Bettws. , 

Bachgen ofer wyf, medd rhai. 

N i allaf f hunan dd' wedyd llai ; ; I 

Eisiau mod yn gwella'm bai : 

A gadael tat tafamau t < 

Yfed cwrw Uanw'm bdl, I J 

Brig a Ao/< yn cario'r g61 ; ] 



Swn y rhai'n yn tiffo'm liol— 
Cwympo'n fad ar \y hyd. 
Colli ngolwg ar y byd. 
A chysgo ar hyd y doddiau. 

Ti^n bach yn gwra yr haf, 

Peth ffein a braf y w bedwea ; 
Ond pan ddelo'r gauaf dig, 

Mae'n welt dan frig celynaa. 

Mi ddodwaa wy heddyw, mi ddodwaa wy ddoe. 

Mi wn i'r lie aeth,~ 
Morwyn y ty holws, gwraig y ty triniwSi 

Gwr y ty bytws— a dyna lle'r aeth. 

Baroid y wiw, a fynu di gyw ? 
Myna ddatt»-08 ca'i 'nbw'n fyw. 

Y *deryn du pigfelyn, a ai di droato'i'n dal, 
Oddiyma i Ynys Forgan a disgyn ar y wil ; 
A d'weyd yn fwyn wrth Gweni am dd'od i ma's yn boat, 
Fod ar d charwr Uawen eistan*! gwel*d yn dott. 

Mi cana'i chwi Ebrill a Mai 

A phart o Fehefin. flfarweliwch bob rhai. (Saya the Cackoo). 

I'll aing in April, and in May, 
When cometh June— I'll fly away. 


The origin of Gwyl Mabsant was the celebration of the 
day upon which the Church had been dedicated to the patron 
saint. The day dedicated to the patron saint of this Parish 
was the 29th of September. In former ages, these feasts 
partook much of a religious character— the early part of the 
day was spent in religious exercises and processions, and the 
evening in dancing and harmless mirth. But they survived 
Catholic times, and gradually deteriorated, till they became 
mere saturnalia, scenes of debauchery and drunkenness. 
Still, great weight was laid by the young people upon attend- 
ing them. We find in the Rev. J. Parry's Diary, 1790-1829, 
several entries of sums of money paid to his servants, that 
they might attend MabsAut, as well as purchases of new 
stockings, shirts, &c., no doubt bought in order to present a 
holiday appearance. A^ may be expected, when the mead 
and beer got uppermost, mirth often turned to combat, and 
battles were apt to take place between rival candidates for 
the hand of some buxom Mori or Shwned, On the whole, it 
is as well that these celebrations are now numbered with the 
things of the past, and that they have thus earned a place 
among our antiquities. 

The same may be said of the " Cwrw Buh.** These were 


occasions when some poor man or woman, desiring to make 
4ip a certain sum ior a purpose, brewed a goodly quantity of 
mead (latterly it has been beer), and announced his or her 
intention to hold a Cwrm Buh on a certain night. Excise 
or Inland Revenue restrictions were in all probability not 
enforced at that time, for, at the appointed hour, the house 
would be filled with youne men and young women ; and with 
the inspiring presence of the £air sex, and the warm desire 
to do good to a neighbour, even at the expense of harm to 
themselves, the drink flowed abundantly, the fun waxed fast 
and furious, and doubtless the warlike consequences already 
alluded to were not always absent. 

Canu Cwniidau^ or Carol 5»j^>n^.— This was a Christmas 
celebration, held on the old Christmas Day, twelve days 
later than at present. In the morning, between four and five 
•o'clock, the Church would be lit up, when a short religious 
service was conducted, and carol singing practised. This 
was called in Welsh •• Plygain " {PtiUi Canius). 

When this practice was discontinued in the Church, 
strange to say, it was taken up by the Nonconformists ; and 
as late as the year 1865, a real Candle-mass was held at each 
of the dissenting places of worship at Llangynwyd Village. 
No less than 70 candles were lit (which had been given, and 
decorated by the ladies of the congregation), when a prayer 
meeting was held, and carols sung. 

W assailing, -^This again was a new year's custom, and 
was the occasion of most elaborate preparations of the **Mari 
Lwyd'* (Holy Mary), the actors in which were the foUow- 
ine:— First and foremost was the head of a horse fantasti- 
cally decked with ribbons, and draped with white. Beneath 
the drapery was concealed the bearer of this " Mart,'* whose 
duty it was to make the necessary genuflexions and bows 
outside the doors of those who were visited, while *' Punch 
and Judy " — also dressed in character— accompanied him, as 
well as a party of men, chiefly selected for being ready 
rhymesters, witty companions, and for having a most exem- 
plary thirst. The partv, thus comp>osed, halted at the doors 
where they believed they would be welcomed, and where 
good cheer was usually bestowed. At their coming the doors 
would always be found closed and barred. 

The whole party then began (to a tune that seems to be 
somewhat doleail, although it must be owned melodious,) to 
chant some introductory verses,-^craving, first of all, for 
permission to sing ; then recounting the perils and trials of 
the journey thither ; and most feelingly concluding with an 
appeal to those within, to be liberal with the cake, and 


' especially to tap the barrel, and distribute its contents freely. 
To this, those inside the house would reply— pleading that 
they had no cake» no beer, no anything ; upon which those 
outside would again most pathetically entreat the mercies of 
the season. 

Upon this would commence a conflict of wits,^those 
inside proposing in rhyme, sun^ to the tune aforesaid, 
riddles, or questions to those outside, and being answered by 
them in rhyme also. Most important it was that each party 
should be ready in their wit, adepts at rhyming, and able 
to mix a little sarcasm with the dialo^e which they con- 
ducted. This conflict of wits was earned on till one party 
was defeated. If those outside were the conquerors, they 
were admitted to the house, the wassailing bowl was pro- 
duced, and the feast was commenced. One of the ancient 
wassailing bowls is still preserved at the Vicarage. It has a 
capacity of about a gallon and a half ; it has eighteen handles, 
but some are now knocked off. Each of the compan)r took 
hold of a handle, and in turns drank — probably enunciating 
some verse, or toast, previously. 

The following are a few specimens of the introductory 
rhymes* sung in the Parish :— 

Wei, dyma ni'n dwad, 

Gyfeiilion diniwad, 

I ofyn cawD genad— i gana. 

Os na chawn ni genad, 

Rhowch glywed ar ganiad, 

Pa fodd mae'r 'madawiad— nos heno. 

K? dorson ein crimpa', 
With groesi'r 8ticeila*» 
Yn dyfod tnag yma— Doa heno. 

Os aethoch rhy gynar, 

I'r gwely'n ddiaigar. 

O oodwch i*D bawddgar— roetawu. 

Y deisen fras, felut, 
A phob sort o spias, 
O torwch hi'n radtit— y gwyliatt. 

A thapwcb y faril, 

GollyDgwch yn rblsl, 

A rbenwcb e*n gynil— y gwylian. 

The challenge from without :-— 

Os oes yna ddynion, 

All bietbtt englynion, 

O rfaowcb i'n atebion— >DOt baaa 


The followiog was sung, when the ** Man Lwyd " was in- 
troduced to the company inside :^ 

Wei dyma'r boeottt lisioweD, 
Sy'n cod\ gyda'r lereo : 
A bOD yw'r Wassail uych «i cblod, 
Sy'o cam bod yn Uawen. «- . 

Before leaving, if the Wassailing Company had been hos- 
pitably entertained, they sang the following verses :^ 

Daw rboddo i'cb Uweoydd, 
I gyoal blwyddyn oewydd : 
Tra b'o crwtb a tbiocian ciocb. 
Well, well, y b'orh cbwi beunydd. 

Ffarweliwch. foneddigioD, 
Ni gawaom roetaw ddigon : 
BeDditb Duw to ar eicb tai, 
A pbob rbyw rbai o'cb dynioo. 

Y Gaseg Fedi. 

This singular Harvest Custom, which was once prevalent 
in this Parish in some form or other, was also prevalent in 
many parts of Wales ; but it is remarkable that here, as is 
often the case with sports of great antiquity, the.//ay was often 
fOugh-^iYie jest sometimes became earnest ^and what was 
sport to some came very near death to others. There are 
but very few now living who can remember having witnessed^ 
or taken part in this sport, which was p>erformed thus :— ' 

A handful of corn was left uncut by the reapers, and care- 
fully plaited. All the rest of the field having been reaped 
* clear, and the corn placed in shocks, the reapers retired a 
certain distance, where a mark was placed, at which they 
stood, and behind them the spectators. Beginning with the 
foreman, all the reapers, in rotation, would now aim and 
throw their sickles, and endeavour to cut down the '* Gaseg 
Fedi," or the still standing corn. The sport was, of course, 
not a little dangerous to the onlookers, for, often, the sharp 
sickle would, from the hand of an inexpert thrower, fly back- 
ward into the crowd ; and when this took place, it was only 
to be expected that awkward, or even dangerous wounds, 
would be the result. 

But imagine the coveted shock of corn cut down by a 
well-aimed shot ; then came the struggles for its possession, 
which were severe, and often ended in a fight. The fortunate 
captor of it had by no means an easy task before him : it was 
his duty to carry it safely, and place it on the centre of the 
table whereon was, ready spread, the harvest dinner. To do 
this, he must be swift of foot, and quick at dodging, for his 


way to the farmhouse door was beset with wicked damsels, 
each with a pail of water, whose aim it was to souse both the 
com and its bearer before he could reach the house ; and es- 
pecially was this the desire of the Mary or Jane who had cast 
eyes of love upon the doughty clod-hopper who carried the 
trophy. If, by swiftness of foot and good fortune, he escaped 
all these dangers, and planted his precious charge upon the 
table, he was, indeed, a lucky man, and hero of the feast. , 
But, presently, doubtless, after the consumption of much 
harvest beer, and a corresponding increase of valour, the 
festive crew would bethink themselves of some neighbouring 
farmer, who had been lazy and dilatory at seed-time, and 
whose corn was, consequently, still uncut. Forth would they 
sally with the '* Gaseg Fedi, with the intent to plant it in a 
conspicuous place in the slothful farmer's cornfield. If he 
took the matter in good part, and pocketed the affront, all 
was well ; but, oftentimes, it was not so, and the jokers would 
find that on arriving at the field, they were met by an oppo- 
sing army, armed with sticks, and often with reaping hooks ; 
and the upshot would be a fight, the results of which would 
afford topics of conversation, probably, till harvest came 
round again. 


This was another of the local customs, which has not, it 
appears, been observed in this Parish for over seventy years. - 

It generally was held on the same day as " Gwyl 
Mabsant ;" and its object was the holding up to pubhc 
reprobation, men and wives who had during the year been 
fighting. Probably it recognized as perfectly lawful and 
right that the man, being the head of the family, should 
occasionally discipline the weaker vessel, for the ** Coltrin " 
was not customary or lawful, unless the wife had punished 
the husband, and not then, unless she had drawn blood. 
However legal the whole thing may have been, there was, 
certainly, a belief that, while certain formalities were care*- 
fully observed, the actors in the game were safe from the 
gra^ of the law, but, without this observance were certainly 
punishable. These formalities were as foUdw :— Judge 
and jury were to be selected in one Parish, say at 
Bettws ; the judge appointed counsel to represent the belli- 
gerent powers. This being done, the court and its officers 
formed themselves into solemn procession, a great feature in 
which was a car drawn by horses ; perched in this car was a 
hu^e wooden horse, on which were placed two men, dis- 
guisedy sitting (ace to face and fighting. This procession 


was made to pass, and most likely to pause, by the house 
where the quarrelsome couple lived ; and then had to pro* 
ceed to try the case in another Parish. Margam Mountain 
would be the most convenient; but in some cases, it is 
stated that the Llangynwyd people had taken their court to 
Saint Brides Minor. The counsel argued sometimes very 
ably, the witnesses swore to the circumstances, and, doubt- 
less, to much that was mirthful, if not strictly true ; the 
judge summed up, and the jury consulted. Sentence was 
passed in solemn burlesque form, and then the court would 
adjourn again to the house of the criminals of the day. 
These, by this time doubtless thoroughly ashamed of them- 
selves, would welcome them, and would have ready 
a goodly quantity of beer they had prepared. It 
was the bounden duty of those who conducted and attended 
the Cooltrin trial, to drink and pay for it, probably, by way 
of drowning, if possible, all ill-feeling at the day's doings. 
In any case, this part of the proceedings had one good 
effect : it replenished the pockets of the quarrelsome couple, 
and thus, perhaps, conduced largely to their peace and 
comfort for some time to come. 

We are told that "when poverty comes in through the 
door, love flies out at the window ** ; if this be so, then, cer- 
tainly, the filling of pantries and pockets would help to still 
the tongue of a scolding wife of 70 years ago, and, possibly, 
to keep her Uu commandnwUs off the dial pUU of her husband. 

All HaUows' Eve.^On this night, in every house where 
there were children, it was customary to prepare a goodly 
quantity of apples, and nuts, for the observance of this 
feast. A large tub was brought to the hearth, and filled 
with water, and the children amused themselves in catching 
the apples from the water by their teeth. It was also ne- 
cessary for the evening's enjoyment, that a trunk of an^ old 
tree should be provided and placed on the fire. The old 
people enjoyed themselves by repeating pld fairy tales and 
ghost stones until very late, while the younger folks devoured 
the apples and nuts. 

In olden times the Churchwardens gave, out of the 
Church-rate funds, one shilling per bell to the bell-ringers 
for beer. This was called Churchwarden's been It was 
generally given on New Year's eve. 

One pound was given in beer by the Overseers of the 
Hamlet in which a fox was killed, to the huntsmen. 

Five shillings were paid also by the Overseers, for killing 
a polecat; one penny each for all rooks killed, and two 
pence for killing a carrion crow. 


j64 history of LLANGYNWYD. 

The bells were played during Christmas time and New ^ 
Yean They always played the old year out, and the new 
one in. 

It has always been customary with the children to go 
round the neighbourhood early on the morning of New 
Year's day, wishing the neighbours a •« Happy New Year," 
and soliciting a gift, repeating at every house the following:—' 
•* Blwyddyn newydd dda i chwi^ a chalenig i finau,'* An apple or. 
orange is dressed up for the occasion, and they generally 
succeed in collecting a goodly number of pence, and get plenty 
to eat. It is considered not lucky to see a girl first on this 

The Parish Clerk was entitled, in olden days, to twopence 
per hearth throughout the Parish, as his dues for his services. 
Thomas William, about 60 years ago, was the last to collect 
these dues in this Parish. 

A Court Leet was held twice a year, up to about ten 
years ago, at Llangynwyd Village, by the representatives of 
the Lords of the Manor ; where it was customary to appoint 
a constable each for Llangynwyd and Bettws ; and a reeve, 
whose duty it was to collect the chief rent, &c. It was necessary . 
that a person should own some land in either of the above 
Parishes to be qualified for this ofHce. The chief rent 
amounted to about /50, and was collected every six years. 

The Court Leet was a Court of Record, ordained for 
punishing offences against the Crown ; also, it was customary ~ 
to settle any disputes that took place between the inhabitants, 
with respect to boundaries, fences, trespasses, &c. A jury 
of 24 grown-up persons were sworn for the purpose of tran- 
sacting the business of the court, the expenses being defrayed 
by the Lords of .the* Manor. It is said to be the most ancient 
court of the land. 

The hiring of male and female servants takes place every 
six months, on the first Wednesday after old May*day, and 
the first Wednesday after All Hallows* tide ; these days are 
called ** Merclur Amodau" — Covenant Wednesdays— when the 
terms are agreed upon between master and servant; the 
master pays the servant a shilling, which is called tarns, and 
this agreement cannot be broken until the time of service 
agreed upon is expired. 


Sapernatiiril beIielf.»Lov0 SpdliL— PhantMH CoMraL^SigM of thm 
approach of doatb,— Experinoes premonitoiy of accidental doa t ha.^' 
A 3fOiiag Samuel ia Uie pit^A laailiar spirit, Ac^ Ac 


BELIEF in the existence of supernatural beings, in a 
sense altogether independent of religious views, is co* 
extensive with the entire human race. From the com- 
paratively highly educated Greek or Roman, from whom we 
inherit our modem civilization, to the Red Indian of the Ameri- 
can continent and the Aboriginal Australasian, who represents 
the lowest form of humanity known, the mind of man has ever 
been awed and influenced by impalpable illusions. Their 
variety and attributes are endless, whether taken as opera- 
ting upon terrestrial affairs, or merely indicative of another 
and an unknown world. So deeply rooted is the disposition 
to believe in them, that no amount of reasoning can shake 
the hold they possess, and even entire inexperience or absence 
of personal proof is held of no account when weighed against 
the innate inclination to belief. The greatest minds the 
world has any knowledge of, from the earliest dawn of 
history downwards, if not themselves persuaded, have used 
the popular tendency to terrify, to elevate, and to sooth, the 
minds of men. Kings have been brought to bow down low 
under its influence ; Roman augurs turned it into a source 
of mighty material profit, and charlatans, gipsies, and spiritu- 
alists, still furtively follow their example, and will continue 
to do so whilst man's metaphysical nature remains as it is, 
prone to obey his impulses rather than his reason. 

Poets in all ages have found food for their art, and exer- 
cise for their genius in its alluring and sensational attributes. 
Dante made a glorious use of it in his ** Divina Commediaf** 
and Shakespeare still terrifies, elevates, melts, and amuses 
us all by means of it, arousing into action the profoundest 
depths of our intellectual being, and teaching the most 
exquisite sentiments by means of the airiest creations. 
Whether it be the stately ghost of Hamlet's father or of 


' Banquo, the weird unholy doings of the witches in ** Mac* ' 
heth," the graceful spiriting of " Arid ** in the •• Tempest/' or the 
crowds of tricksy and amusing fairies and elves peopling 
thickly earth and air on a ** Midsummer's night "-—there is in 
all his supernatural creations a kind of consistency and fit- 
ness for his purpose, which awakes the heartiest admiration, 
and satisfies the most fastidious understanding. 

The rapid progress of education is supposed to be uproot- 
ing the old faith and belief in apparitions and omens, and, na 
doubt, it makes men more reticent in revealing their secret 
feelings. But spite of this, had the question to be settled by 
popular vote and by secret ballot — even in these days callea 
*' enlightened *' — the majority would be found to be greatly in 
favour of retaining the ** Ghosts.** A good ghost story may 
be backed to beat in general interest the best of love tales ; 
and where is the person to be found, however much given to 
decry ghosts in the abstract, who, aftet the perusal of a ghost- 
story at midnight, does not feel a creeping sensation in the 
system on retiring for the night ? What is this but involun- 
tATy homage paid to popular belief? Unfortunately, super- 
stitious beheis have not always been as harmless as they have 
now become. Civilization, though it has not killed, has 
robbed them of their stings, and the most pernicious of them, 
that of witchcraft, is the form that has suffered most from 
enlightenment. Belief in witchcraft has given some terrible 
chapters of cruelty and suffering to the history of the human - 
race. Occasionally, the journals report examples of a linger- 
ing belief in the existence of living witches in Somerset and 
Dorset even at this period, where old women are subjected 
to the pains of blood letting, by means of the point of a pin 
or pen-knife, with .a view to destroy their supposed occult 
influences ; but in Glamorgan,(that belief has happily entirely 
died out. There are few aspects of the question more - 
curious or more fatal to consistent belief than the nationality 
and topography of different forms of superstition. It adds 
greatly to the difHculties of classification to find that every 
country and nation has its own distinct set of phantoms and 
goblins, and that a range of mountains, a narrow sea, or even 
an ordinary river, act as invincible boundaries to the spread 
of old, or the reception of new forms. True, there are a few 
that enjoy almost universal acceptance, but by far the greater 
number are national, and even local. Thus the Welsh 
" Phantom Funeral " and " Corpse Candle '* are utterly un- 
known across the Severn, whilst many that find favour 
amongst the £nfl[lish are treated with scorn by the Welsh. 
It 18 iMeless to plead philosophy in such a casCi or a proper 


respect for the foreign ghostly element should be displayed if 
our own is to be respected. That supernatural belief is 
wide-spread amongst us still is abundantly proved bv the 
fact that the following instances have been recently collected 
within the comparatively confined space of the Parish of 
Llangynwyd ana its immediate vicinity, 

LovB Spblls. 

There were sundry methods adopted in past days by 
love*sick damsels and swains to peer into the future, and 
discover permanently for themselves their future lots and 
lovers. One of those, called a ** Trick," was performed as 
follows : — 

A Welsh Bible — that contained, bound up with it, a copy 
of the Book of Common Prayer— was brought into requisition. 
Upon the page of the marriage service were placed a key and 
a gold ring ; the key being supposed, or intended, to open the 
chamber of dreams, and the ring suggesting the state into 
which lovers desire to enter* The utmost privacy was to be 
observed, if the ** Trick *' was to work properly ; and the 
closed Bible was to be placed under the pillow, before pro- 
ceeding to rest* If the formalities were properly performed, 
the operator would dream of his, or her, future wife or hus- 
band. This •• Trick," which, probably, is the cause of its . 
being so-called, could be plaved upon any person, without 
consent or connivance, with the same result, if the Bible» 
with the key and ring, be placed under the pillow without 
the knowledge of the sleeper. It will be necessary to get the 
dreamer's account of the dream. 

Another *' Love Spell ** was worked as follows : — An 
under-garment (shirt or shift) was to be taken without the 
knowledge of any inmate, to the nearest spout, or well of 
water, to be thoroughly soaked, and carried home, without 
wringing, by the teeth, and untouched by hand, and placed 
over the back of a chair before the fire. The operator was 
then to retire to a remote part of the apartment, and await 
results. If properly performed, the shade or wraith of the 
future partner in life would appear, turn the garment 
around, and then depart. A story is told by some elderly 
folk, even at this day, that a young woman, having duly 
performed this spell, was horror-struck to find, that 
instead of the swain she had expected to see, after waiting 
patiently for hours, a. coffin appeared on the hearth* Her 
terror and alarm were so intense that scarcely strength 


enough remained in her to crawl to her bed, from which she 
never again rose. 

'* The Knife and the Sheath Spell "^This was performed as 
follows :~ If the operator was a girl, she was to place a 
knife, stuck on end, in the corner of the leek*bed in the 
garden, retaining the sheath in her hand, on a dark night, 
and after ten o'clock, in absolute secrecy. She was then to 
walk backwards around the bed, carrying the sheath in her . 
right hand. She was on no account to look behind her, and was 
to be very careful not to stumble. If her destiny was to be mat- 
rimony, her lover's shade would appear, take out the knife 
from the earth, and place it in the sheath. It is said that a 
young girl, on one occasion, in performing this trick, was 
beset by two shades at once. The consequence was that she 
became a victim of the wicked wiles of one of them, and even- 
tually wife of the other. 

Thb Phantom Funeral. 

In the past, the farmers of Llangynwyd had to haul the 
limestone they required to manure their land with, from 
Porthcawl. This was done over the old tramroad which led 
to that port. It was done chiefly in the winter months, and 
the journey being long, it was necessary to start very early in 
the morning, some hours before daylight, to make it possible 
to return the same day. 

The following story was told me by a person who 
affirmed that he had witnessed the circumstances : — 

*' One morning, at two o'clock, I started from my home, 
with the horses, for Porthcawl. Having been so fortunate as 
to send my empty trams down, the day before, in the care of a 
friend who was doing hauling work on the tramway, I was 
enabled to take a shorter route by way of Llangynwyd Vil- 
lage, and over the mountain to Pyle. When I arrived near to 
PontrhydycyfT, on a cross-road that led to the main highway, 
my horses suddenly halted, and, looking before me through the 
darkness to discover the cause, I thought I could see a great 
crowd of people coming out of the cross-road into the main, 
on which I was proceeding. It was too dark to see anything 
very distinctly, or to recognise features ; but I could plainly 
distinguish the footsteps and bustle of a moving crowd. 
After a time, something resembling a coffin borne on men*s 
shoulders passed by, followed by a number of horses and 
horsemen, amongst them being prominent a white horse. 
After they had passed on, I followed them slowly, and could 
distinguish the sounds of movement in front of me. When I 


arrived at the Village of Llangynwyd, I paused for a short 
period to permit of sufficient time for them to get into the 
Church, and then proceeded on my journey without delay. 

•' A few weeks later, an old neighbour of mine died, and 
his remains were brought along the same road from which I 
had seen the phantom funeral emerging. Following the 
coffin, there was, amongst many others, a man on a 
white horse. He was quite a prominent figure in the 
crowd. I attended the funeral myself, and feel auite con- 
vinced that it was the real procession of which I had seen the 
phantom on the morning I went to PorthcawL" 

Such is a specimen of the stories frequently told by per- 
sons, whose credibility, in ordinary mattersy no one even 

The following were believed to be sure signs of the ap- 
proach of death m the Parish of Llangynwyd :— 

The howling of dogs at midnight. 

The crowing of cocks before midnight. 

The crowincf of hen birds. 

The birth of twins to a cow or mare. 

The ticking sounds of the death watch. 

The blossoming of fruit trees at an unseasonable time of 
the year. 

The dreaming of being present at a friend's wedding. ' 

The beating of screech owls against the windows of a 
sick room.^ 

The sound of a bell humming in the ear. 

The above are all natural signs ; but there were also 
supernatural omens, such as, — 

The Howling Wraith {Y Gyhiraeth), or the DracMaeth^OL 
frightful sound of lamentation that proceeded from the house 
of death to the Parish Church. 

The sounds of barking dogs (Cwn Anumf) in the air, 
which were supposed to be driving lost souls to the infernal 

The Corpse Candle {Cauwyll Gorff), the most generally ac- 
cepted of all. This was a light, which passed along in the 
night, quite noiselessly, from the house of death to the grave, 
along the path the funeral was sure to follow. 

Experiences premonitory of Accidental Deatks.^Two men were 
working together at a mine level on the side of a hill, the • 
path leading to the spot being steep and narrow, having a 

* When owls were much, more namerottt than no«r, this wat not 
.an uncommon circnmttance, at they were attracted by th« light kept 
bnming in a tick room. 


thick ^owth of furze and thorns on either hand. Returning 
to their homes rather late on a dark night along the path, 
they suddenly were beset by difficulties of an unusual nature. 
They found themselves struggling with what seemed to be an 
invisible crowd of people ; and they found it impossible to keep 
their footing on the steep path, and were pushed on either 
hand against the furze and underwood. They did not recover 
a proper footing until they got to the bottom of the steep» 
They could distinctly realize the bustle of men that they 
seemed to be among. They could see nothing whatever, 
and yet they were crushed, and even trampled upon. Alarm- 
ed beyond measure, they were glad to get away from the spot 
where they had been subjected to such remarkable expe- 
riences. The next day, a man was killed at the level, and all 
the workmen came out and assisted in carrying the body to- 
its home along the identical path down to the road. The 
two friends found in this circumstance ample explanation of 
the difficulties they had suffered from the previous night. 

f Mr. James Motley, whose Dame we have mentioned in connection 
with the Maesteg Works, published a small volume entitled '• Tales of tht 
QiNrjr"^the subjects being— TA^ Cwn Anwn.^Tht Torrent Speetre.—Th$ 
' CanwyU Gorpk»-Tk$ Ceffyl Dwr, ^e. The scenes are all laid i 
Glamorganshire. The volume contains some pleasing descriptive writings 
of the wild scenery of the district of which Maesteg forms the centre* 
Natural phenomena are also touched upon, as for example : — 

"The bog fire.- The writer has rejieatedly seen this singular light upon 
the bogs, and even upon the mountain roads of Glamorganshire, dancing - 
along before him, and apparently adapting its pace to that of his horse, 
and so closely does it resemble the light of a lantern carried by a person 
walking that it requires a little resolution on a dark night to avoid following 
it, when it leaves the road for some boggy place, as it almost always 
wantonly does. In such cases the luminous appearance arises from 
phosphorated hydrogen gas. produced by the decomposition of some organic 
matter, like the light * of decaying wood ; but in many mstances the 
nocturnal wanderers seem to be of electrical origio, when the ears of the 
traveller's horse, the extremity of bis whip, his spurs, or any other pro- 
jecting point, appear tipped with pencils of light. The writer was once 
witness to this m a veiy extraordinary degree during the cold weather of 
January, 1843, on the mountain road from Maesteg to Aberavon. Upon 
this occasion tiie toes of the rider's boots and even the tufts of hair at the 
fetlocks of bis horse appeared to bum with a steady blue light, and on the- 
hand being extended every finger immediately became tipped with fire. All 
these appearances are known to the Welsh by the name of * Eilytt Ddn* or 
'goblin {f$' and *Jaek 0* Umthem* A small valley, a tributary of the 
Rbondda fawr, on the Monmouthshire frontier of Glamorganshire is said 
to be remarkable for the brilliancy and freauency of these appearances, 
which have gained for it the reputation of being haunted by spirits of 
darker character. The superstition of the ' Cegyl Dwr ' is thus spoken 

** Tlie ' etfj^ 4wr ' or ' water horu ' is a superstition common in one 
form or other to all the Celtic race. Believed to be an evil spirit, who 
in the shape of a hone would indnoe the unwary ttraoger to mount him^ 


Aod tMriaff ov«r riirtr ami aMMBtain wonld toddcDly melt lato air or mitt 
and prccipiute bit ridar 10 dattnictioo. Ha it ackoowledgad by the Britona 
Had Biscayant. aad it idaatical with the Kelpie of the Scotch, aad the 
Poocah of the Irish. The mde figures of horses formed oa British ooios, 
of which soch vast aambers have been foaad ia the Dniidical hiils of 
Cambre. ia Corawall, are supposed by sooia to be representations of the 
horse of M^Un, or Cyd, or Ceriivtn, or ttfu, or theGodess herself in that 
form which she was sapposed to asaoma.** 

Upwards of twenty years ago, a man was employed doing 
repairs at the bottom of the shaft of the *• Old Gin Pit.^ 
Everything was perfectly still, excepting such noises as 
emanated from his own work. Suddenly he heard the sound 
of something falling down the shaft, and he stepped aside 
out of its way. He distinctly heard it strike the bottom with 
a dull thud, and it sounded to him like the fall of a sack of 
sawdust, but he could see nothing whatever. He felt greatly 
surprised, and even frightened, and had not courage left to- 
continue his work. He went up the pit, and meeting some 
of his fellow«workmen on the landing, told them of the strange 
circumstance he had heard. They stood wondering around 
him, and all concluded that he must have heard seme sound 
ominous of a death. 

They had not long to watt for a verification of their fearsr 
for the very next night, about the same hour, two men were 
down in the pit doing repairs near to the spot where the first 
man had been at work. They had availed themselves of the 
swing door to protect themselves from anything falling down 
the shaft. All at once they heard a sound as of something 
coming down, and the next instant it fell upon the door. 
They at first took it to be a bag of chaff for the horses, but 
on hfting up their lights, they discovered, to their horror, a 
man*s hand forced through the doorway. It proved to be 
one of their fellow- workmen, who, having to cross the shal't. 
in the upper workings, had not observed in the dark that the 
bridge over which he would have to pass had been with* 
drawn, so the poor fellow had perished. 

The following story was told by a collier, a highly res- 
pectable man. He was one of several lodgers at a house in 
Maesteg. Sitting up rather late one night, reading, which 
was his habit, the clock had just struck twelve, when he 
heard sounds «s though a crowd of people were approaching 
the house. Suddenly the door was opened, and the room 
became filled with confused sounds as of the bustle and 
tread of men. With some difficulty he made for the stairs, 
havinff observed that the house door remained closed and 
locked as he had before left it. There seemed to be con- 
fused sounds as of speech amongst the phantom crowd, but 


he understood nothing they said, and saw nothing whatever. 
He felt very much alarnned, and lay awake the greater^ 
part of the night* Next day he went to his work as usual, 
but low-spirited from the effect of the previous night's 
experience, and full of thoughts concerning it. 

A few minutes after his return from work on the evening 
of the following day, the body of one of his fellow-lodgers was 
brought to the house by a large gathering of his comrades. > 
He had been killed by a fall of rubbish in the mine, and had 
been extricated with much difficulty. The trampling 
sounds, the bustle of the men, and the opening of the door, 
exactly corresponded with those which he had heard the 
previous night. 

When Coed-y- Garth level was being worked, a man and 
boy had occasion to go there earlier than usual. It was 
quite dark when they approached the entrance, and the man 
proceeded to the lodge to light his candle. The boy, left 
alone, called out that there was a light coming out of the 
level, and, the next moment, a tram passed by him, in which 
an elderly man was seen to support a young one, while two 
other men pushed behind. This phenomenon was seen by 
both man and boy, and was revealed by them to their fellow- 
workmen. Some of them made light of the matter, whilst 
others blamed them very much for having mentioned it, as 
they felt sure it must have been a death omen. 
For more than a year, it was a constant topic of conversation 
among the workmen, especially when they collected together 
to enjoy what they called their " Spdl Whiff" which was a 
short rest they took whilst enjoying a pipe of tobacco, the 
workings being free from any danger of fire-damp. After 
a full year had passed, it occurred to a workman, one day, 
that a young man working at a distance alone, was longer 
than usual in sending down his tram of coal. Proceeding to 
the spot, he found that his comrade had been prostrated by 
a fall of rubbish from the roof, which had stunned but not 
killed him. Extricating him from under the debris^ with the 
assistance oi other workmen, he had him lifted into a tram, 
into which an old man climbed to support him, whilst the 
others pushed it out. 

In all respects the circumstances corresponded with those 
that had been seen twelve months before. 

About 30 years ago, two men were loading hay into a car 
in a meadow through which a tramway ran from a colliery 
near. It was dusk, and they were hastening their labour, 
when they heard a tram coming along from the works. 
There was a considerable incline from the mouth of the 


level, and it wae customary with the workmen, when later 
than usual, to get into an empty tram to travel home, as by so 
doing they saved both time and the fatigue of walking ; al- 
though it was contrary to the rule to do so. One of the hay- 
makers remarked to the other on hearing the tram, ** Well, 
there are others at work as late as we are.** Suddenly the 
sound of the tram ceased, and the man who was pitching the 
hay observed, ** What light can that be that is passing under 
the car ? " At no great distance there was a farmhouse, and 
the light travelled slowly in that direction, and seemingly 
entered it. They left the hayfield soon after, and com- 
municated to the household what they had heard and seen. 

In about a week afterwards, a man who had remained at 
work in the level later than his fellows, seized an empty tram 
to travel home in. At the very spot where the haymakers 
had observed the sound to cease, the tram ran off the tracks 
was upset, and the collier was badly crushed under it. He 
was carried to the nearest house, which was the farmhouse 
mentioned, across the meadow in the very line along which 
the light had travelled. He was treated medically, and car* 
ried home, but died in a few days. 

An Engineer's Story, — A man attending to a pumping 
engine at night all alone, as the pit was only worked by day, 
heard about midnight the stir and tumult of an excited 
crowd of people moving to and fro between the mouth of 
the shaft and the lodge at the entrance of the pit premises. 
He went himself in the direction of the lodge, expecting 
to find it occupied, but to his great surprise could neither 
see or hear anything there. He felt so alarmed that he had 
tQ muster a considerable amount of courage and resolution 
t4 remain at his duties for the rest of the night. When the 
men came to their work in the morning, he told them of the 
strange sounds he had heard. They treated the matter lightly, 
told him he must have been aslbep and dreaming, or had unduly 
given way to his imagination ; but nothing could induce him 
to go to work there again alone and unaccompanied. A few 
weeks later, the man who had the charge of the crab, at 
the pit*s mouth, neglected to put in the catch at the right 
time, when lifting a weight up the shaft. This neglect 
causing the handle to run wild, it struck him down, and 
killed him on the spot. The excitement over the accident 
was extreme, and there was a rush of men to the spot. His 
body was carried to the lodge, where a medical man pro- 
nounced kim to be dead. The engineer's story was now 
called to mind, and the truth of his statement acknowledged. 

** A young Samuel in ih$ Pi/«*'- About forty years ago 


there were a number of men employed at the level called the 
" Scwd." Amongst them were two who held extreme views 
4>i the supernatural. One denied its existence wholly, whilst 
the other believed thoroughly in signs and omens, and the 
war of words on the subject between them oftentimes grew 
warm and fervent. One of their fellow-workmen brought 
his little boy with him on one occasion to the pit for 
•company^s sake, and the lad, getting sleepy, was placed by ^ 
his father to lie on his coat, where he slept soundly for some 
time. On waking, he asked his father what the noise was which 
be heard. His father replied that there had been no noise 
excepting, perhaps, from the rats. The lad addressed 
himself to sleep again, but after a time awoke, and asked his 
father the same question. He got the same reply with the 
assurance that nothing should hurt him. He again went to 
sleep and continued undisturbed until the morning. The 
new relay of men now arrived and the father remained with 
him during the ** spell whiff " before he left. Being struck with 
his son having been disturbed, and what he had himself heard, 
he warned the workmen to be careful of what they did that 
day; for that probably something serious would happen, 
which would cause them to fly for their lives, perhaps an 
explosion. Should such take place, they would collect in a 
•certain spot to consult with each other, and then another ex* 
plosion would occur. They all laughed at him, and taxed him 
with trying to frighten them by means of a hoax^^ the seep- - 
tical man making himself quite prominent in scouting the warn- 
ing. The man and boy then left for home. In the course of the 
day, through a door having been carelessly left open, an explo- 
sion took place. The men all rushed to one spot to consult. , 
about it, when another and louder explosion made them all ily 
to the open air. They all came out safely, and the sceptic was 
compelled to confess that some knowledge of '* coming 
•events" must have been obtained by the father of the boy 
by some means or other which could not naturally be 
accounted for. 

**A familiar spirit.'* — Quite early in the present century, 
.a man named David Vinten, took a farm named Gelly Sirud, 
which had been vacated by one Richard Hugh The 
common room in the farmhouse had an upper story, but was 
very high, with windows to correspond. On the window 
sill high up, out of ordinary reach, was an old straw basket - 
(cawmn) left there by the former tenant. A visit was paid to 
the farm one day by a tall man named Sion Bivan Kattrr— and 
it occurred to some one to nnake use of him to get down ^ the 
basket from its high perch. This he succeeded in doing, and 


it WM found that the tMsket contained a quantity of haze 
nuts of an excellent quality. No one could tell how long 
they had been there, and as a superstition prevailed that it 
was possible to bewitch or oharm such prooucts, the family 
declined to touch them. It had been a matter of common 
report and belief for a considerable i>eriod, that a familiar 
spirit resided at GiUy Siriol, and that it was impossible for 
any stranger to ai>proach the house at night without finding 
himself accompanied by this shadow, which took the form of 
a man. After the removal of the basket* this apparition 
disappeared from the place altogether. It is somewhat 
difficult to connect the apparition with the nuts, but it is 
certain that the belief in. such occult connection existed. 


leaan Vawr, the Soo of the Dewless.— (1170), Twm IfanPrys.— The Maids . 
of Ty-talwyn.— Anthony Powell, of LI wydarth.— Pedigree of the 
Powells, of Maesteg.— David Nicholas, the Family Bard of Aber- 
pergwm.— The Gelly Family.— Mrs. Pendril Llewelyn* Llangynwyd 
Vicarage,— Instances of unusual Longevity. 

Ieuan Fawr ab y Diwlith. 

tHE bards of Tir larll having gone to the Dewless Hil- 
lock on one of the St. John s Midsummer Festivals, to 
hold there a chair of vocal song, found a new-born 
child, half alive, on it. Rhys, the son of Rhiccart, the son 
of Einion, the son of Collwyn, took it home with him, and 
placed it under the care of a foster mother. The child lived, 
was put to school, and brought up to a learned profession. 
He imbibed knowledge with all the avidity that a child 
would suck its mother's milk, and early in life he took the 
the lead of all preceptors in Wales. 

He wrote several books, one of which was called " The 
preservation of the Welsh Language, the art of song, and all 
that appertained to them ; according to the rights and 
usages of the Welsh nation, and the judicial decisions of wise 
men." Others were called the *• Greal," *• The Mabinogion." 
*' The nine tropeS, and twenty-four embellishments of 
diction,** *' The book of Fables,'* and many more. He also 
composed a work for the preservation of the moral maxims 
and lands of the Welsh nation. He received the name of 
John, the son of the Dewless, because he was found, as 
already mentioned on the Dewless Hillock, on St. John's 
midsummer festival ; and because he was a large man, he 
was called Big John, the son of the Dewless. He lived and 
died at Llangynwyd, where he was buried with the familjr of 
Llwydarth. It was currently reported that in all probability, 
he was the son of Rhys, the son of Riccart, the son of 
Einion, by a lady of high rank, and when it was asserted in 
his presence, he merely held his tongue, allowing that belief 
to continue* (From " Cofion Ieuan Bradford, from, the book of 
Anthony Pywd ofLlwvdarth, at Covtrehn:''^Ioh MSS. 



We are entirely indebted to the late Ed. Williams (Ich 
Morganwg) for our information relative to '* Twm Ifan Prys,"' 
or» as he was better known in this Parish, " Twm Celwydd 

The following is based upon some " Notes *' upon *< Twm 
Ifan Prys" contained in a paper given by Mr. Williams to a 
Glamorganshire gentleman, which were afterwards communi- 
cated to the ** Cambrian Quarterly Magaiim" vol. 5, p. 94. 
The fact of Twm having lived in the Parish is deemed a suffi- 
cient reason for giving his name a place in the present work. 

The original MSS. is said to have been once in possession 

of Mr, E , of P , by whom it was given to Mr. Ed. 

Williams. It was not in the writing of " Twm lian Prys " 
himself, but of another person who lived in his time, whose 
name is subscribed thereto (this name is not given). 

IOI0 himself states that Twm died about 161 7, and was 
one hundred and fotty-three years old. Twm was born at 
Bryn Cynllan, in the Parish of Llanharan, but appears to 
have been brought up at Pen-hydd, in the Parish of Margam 
(whither his father removed shortly after this son was born). 
He entered the Monastery of Margam, but, it is thought, did 
not stay beyond the year of his novitiate there, and having 
adopted what was known as LoUardism, was imprisoned at 
Keniig Castle. He addressed a poem to Sir Mathew 
Cradock, prayinf? for liberation from the latter place. This 
poem is extant with several others, chiefly religious, and they 
show him to have been a man of great piety and rigid morals. 
After his liberation he went to his father at Mcrthyr Cynon. 
How long he remained there is unknown, and, in fact, 
nothing appears to be known of him between this period of 
his early manhood and his old af;e, when he turned up at a 
small farm called Tyn Const, in Llangynwyd, and had a 
young wife. The couple are poor, and his wife urges him to 
go round the country and solicit a cymorth — of wheat to sow 
in his helds. He did so, and has left a poetical account of 
his journey through the Vale of Glamorgan. He described 
the inhabitants,— ** The people of Wick spoke English.'* 
About the year 1610 he was at Tythegstone, and is there 
said to have earned his living by threshing. At Tythegstone, 
it is believed, he died and was buried, though the loh MSS. 
state that he died at Margam. He pretended to be a prophet, 
and wrote and uttered many things in mystical language. 
Most of these are obviously applicable to the events of the age 
in which he lived, and especially the Reformation from 


Popery. There are a few, however, of a different and more 
unaccountable cast, the tone of which is directed towards the 
support of Protestant principles, and the confirmation of the 
Christian religion. 

The following are some prophesies attributed to " Twni 
Celwydd Teg *' (Twm of the fair liis), taken from the lolo 

After the birth of the son and heir of Sir George 
Herbert, of Swansea, a feast was held, and great rejoicing, 
at the christening of the child^ and they shod the horses with 
silver, and many other costly things they did likewise. Twm. 
seeing this, said : *' Ha I here is parade, and great pride 
about the baptism of a child born to be hung by the string; 
of his forehead-band." He was seized, and put in prison, in 
Kenfig Castle ; and the child was placed in the care of a 
nurse, who^was ordered to watch him narrowly and care- 
fully, night and day : this went on some time, when it was 
reported in the house that the nurse had the itch. Sir 
George and his lady sent for her to the hall to them, that 
they might see whether it was true or not, and when they 
saw that there was no itch upon her, they went with her 
back to the chamber where the child was, and the first 
thing they saw was the child in his cradle, having twisted 
his hands under the strings of his forehead-band, and en- 
tangled them in it in such a manner that he got choked, and . 
died from that cause, or, as it might be said with truth, he 
hung himself in the strings of his forehead-band. Then 
they sent in haste to liberate Twm, and gave him some 

Another time he was threshing in a barn, and a young 
lad went by and addressed him as follows:— "Wei, Twm 
Celwydd Teg, what news have you to-day?" "There is 
news for thee," said he : " thou shalt die three deaths before 
this night.*' "Hal Ha 1 '* said the youth, " nobody can die 
more than one death,** and he went his way laughing. In 
the course of the day, the lad went to the top of a great tree, 
on the brink of a river, to take a kite's nest ; and in thrusting: 
his hand into the nest, he was wounded by an adder, broughi 
by the kite to her young ones, an she was accustomed to do. 
This causing him to lose his hold, he fell down on a great 
branch and broke his neck, and from there into the river, and 
thus he met with three deaths, — To be wounded by an adder, 
to break his neck, and to drown. 

That he lived to a great age is proved by the following 
rhyme he composed : — 


'* Oo« ihousftAd six handred •xactly, 
Aod four years conpl«t«. 
TIm bvffinoinjr of laousrv (fair oomptttation), 
1 am OM baadrad and thirty.'* 

Out 0ftk$ h09k 0f Uf. Uwyi, 0/ Piniiym. 
Thb Maids op Tytalwvn. 
TransUtid {from tki ** Cymmrodor*' for January^ 1881). 

The fbilowing curious and inlerestinf^ account is taken 
from one of the unpublished lolo Morganwg MSS. now in 
tlie possession of the Ri^ht Hon. Lady Llanover, by whose 
kind permission it is copied. It is written in the spoken 
dialect of Glamorgan, which was often used by lolo. 
Perhaps some of the readers of the Cymmrod^ may be able 
t'l add to the informAtion here given about these poetesser.* 
and to supply other verses ascribed to them.^lV. \Vatkin$. 

*' I heard an old man at Llangynwyd sing a curious kind 
of a song. It consisted of the names of all the 
rivers in Glamorgan, and their fountain heads, said to have 
been written by one of the Tytalwyn poetesses. One stanza 
of it is as follows :— 

Blaeo Gwrych. Blaen Gwracb, Blaen Gwraagon, 
Blaea Pfrvdw)lU. Blaea Cynaeroa. 
Blaen Afao sy*, Blaeo Liyfoi syw, 
Blaea Garw yw'r Blaen crenlon. 

'* It is said of the Poetess that her lover had committed 
some offence against her, and had angered her ; and that she 
would not be reconciled to him upon any account, until that 
he should visit all the rivers of Glamorgan and their fountain 
heads, and connect their names together in a song of his 
own composition which he should shew her. This ne took 
upon him, and spent many a month wandering along the 
riversides to their fountain-heads, until he had become s«> 
wasted in his fiesh that scarcely anything of him remained 
but the skin and the bones. 

Yet,, for all that had been, there remained some tender- 
ness in the heart of the Poetess, and she bad compassion 
upon her lover ; and what did she, but herself visited all the 
rivers, unknown to her lover, and placed their names in a 
song in the metre of the Glamorganshire Triplet (Triban 
Morganwg). At this time she was in the dress of a boy. She 
knew right well of the house of a friend of her lover's 
where he often lodged. She went there and asked for a 
iiight's lodging. 

** You liiay have half a bed, if that please you/' said the 


housewife ; " I bave but that, because a fair youth cometh 
here to-night to occupy the other half/' 

*• That will please me well," said the strange lad, and 
went into the house. 

In a little while he requested that he might go to his bed, 
for he was sore tired, having walked far that day. ** Vou 
may go,'* said the housewife, and he went. Shortly there . 
came the poor lover to his lodging ; he was shewn to his bed, 
and was told that a very handsome youth was to sleep with 
him, and that he had gone right early to bed because he was 
very weary, having walked far that day. 

" God bless him," said the lover, ** and sweet rest to him. 
Would that the hour of rest had come to me." 

And he went to bed, but could sleep but little. With the 
light, the strange youth arose, and, leaving the blessing of 
God upon that house and the family within it, went his way. 
But upon his pillow he left a paper, with the song written 
upon It, containing the names of all the rivers of Glamorgan 
and their fountain heads, and above the song, these words — 
all being written in a hand strange to the lovetr^** Tah the 
help of a song from one wlto loveth flue.'* 

The lover took the paper, and read it, and read it, and read 
it ap;ain. At one moment, leaping with joy, at another, 
casting himself upon the bed with tears and sobbing ; but at 
the last, girding himself, and going with flying feet to the 
house of the maid, to win whom he had suffered so much. 
He was admitted to her ; but was not granted a kiss of 
reconciliation until he had shewn the song. Upon hearing 
. this, he drew the song from his bosom, and laid it before her. .. 

" Now, upon thy truth," said she, ** tell me whether thou 
hast made this song." 

Said he, answering, ** I wandered along every river in 
Glamorgan, from its mouth to its fountain head ; but sickness 
came upon me from being in the weather so greatly as I was, 
^wet and dry, frost and snow, heat and cold. But though I 
did to the utmost power of bodv and soiil to put the names of 
all of them in a song, yet could I not satisfy myself with one 
little word. And there for thee is the truth, as 1 shall answer 
before God. Look upon mv face and my pale cheeks. 
Having given up everything, heartbroken, almost distracted,' 
there came one day a fair youth to a house where I lodged, 
and he left upon the pillows, where he lay for one night in • 
the same bed with me, the paper I have laid before thee. I 
will believe no less than that he was an angel from heaven. 
For his sakot do what thou would'st not do for my sake. 


Have compaMion upon me. Do this for the sake of the 
angel, and for the sake of God who sent him." 

'* Since thou hast besought me in the name of God and 
his angel," said she, ** I will be reconciled to thee." 

And so it was; they were married speedily afterwards, 
and lived long in love and happiness, the father and 
. mother of many children, and the Adam and the Eve of all 
the poets of the land, save of those who are descended from 
the other sisters ; for it is said that there is no poet in the 
county that is not descended from the maids of Tytalwyn, 
and this saying is a common proverb in Glamorgan to this 

It is not clear at what time or period of the world the 
Maids of Tytalwyn lived, but there appear to be some 
grounds for believing that it was some two hundred years 
a^'o, or thereabout. From the language of the Poem of the 
Flowering Bush, said to be the work of these Maids, it 
might be gathered that they lived some five or six hundred 
years ago. But it is well-known that the peculiar metre of 
these verses— and the peculiar rhyming of sounds in them 
{cvngkanedd uttcdl kib gvHgkauM o gydsaiH)^ have remained in 
use in Glamorgan up to very recent date. 

The following are the verses :— 

Tk$ Fini lt€iim ^-'* Docco Iwyn yn fwyo ei drwsiid,. 
Glasliw glwysion dirion dyfiad. 
Yd ocbr y maes A*i laes gangbenstt, 
Tew gofleidiog teg ei flodAtt.*' 

Th$ Sitoni Mtgidtn :— " Docco Iwvn yn fwyo wedi'i drwsio, 
Gwyn ei tvd a gai fyoed dano, 
Dail mor loyw llwyn hoyw a hyfryd, 
Gwn fod wrtho law fanwylyd* 

Th$ Third ht^iitn s— " Llwyo meillionog deiliog dalai^ 

Hardd i gampau gwj^rdd o'i gwmpts, 
Pletbiad gwead gwiail irioo, 
Tew gwyn gliad torriad tirion. 

This is what I have procured of the seven stanzas of 
the song which was composed and sung between the six 
bisters and their brother in honour of the Flowering Bush. I 
knew another a year ago, but I have forgotten it. I think it 
is to be found in local tradition even yet, and that it is known 
to a few here and there. But one thing is somewhat strange 
to me, and that is, that, notwithstanding the amount of 
tradition that is found in Glamorgan relating to the Maids of 
Tytalwyn, I have not hitherto seen one word concerning 
them in writing. And it is, moreover, a remarkable thing. 


coosidering how many of the writings of Poets and Orators 
are preserved in Glamorgan, above all the shires of South 
Wales, and indeed, I must say, above any county in 
all Wales, North and South, for all these things, I have 
not met so much as one word concerning the Maids of 
Tytalwyn, save a little written by Sion Bradford from his 
own memory. The brother of the maids died younc^ and 
unmarried. All the maidens were married, and, accordmg to 
country tradition, more or less of the Poetic Awen has 
inspir^ every generation of their progen>^ unto this day. 
I have often heard a proverbial saying alluding to this. " It 
is not strange that he is a Poet,— he comes ^om the Maids 
of Tytalwyn." Tytalwyn is to the South of the Parish of 
Llangynwyd in the Commot of Tir larll, and near the border 
of the Parish of Margam. It is a good farmer's house, 
that is, good among the farmhouses of Glamorgan, the best 
houses in Wales, beyond all comparison.*' 

Anthony Powbll, op Llwvdarth. 

The name of Anthony Powell, of Llwydarth and Tir 
larll, is often mentioned by lolo Morgan wg, and other 
Glamorganshire writers; but, apparently, he was not of 
sufficient note to obtain a niche in the ** Cambrian Bio- 
graphy," or the •• Eminent Welshmen." That he was a man 
i<f celebrity is, however, apparent from the fact of his having 
written the history of the whole of Britain. He is spoken of 
by Lewis Dwn,^ as one of the few scribes who had laboured 
to preserve the history of the Welsh nation :—**. 4 i//A<);<y 
Powell, Dir larll, gwr boneddig a *sgrifeuodd am holl Ynys Prydaiti" .. 
(*< Anthony Powell, of Tir larll, gentleman, wrote about the 
whole of the Isle of Britain.")t His manuscript book is fre- 
quently quoted in the lolo AlSS., and other collections as 
well. What became of this book, we are not in a position 
to say; it appears to have been in good hands in lolo's time, 
at Coetrehen House. It is to be regretted that so little is 
known of this distinguished man ; even. the date of his birth 
we cannot trace, neither have we been able to find his name 
appearing in any old documents, excepting an old assess* 
roent now lying in the Record Office, London, taken in the 
3^th yesiT of Queen Elizabeth, in which he is assessed at 
£i} : xii : o. It is believed that he was a near relative of 

* Lewis Dihi, an eminent historiM and genealogist, who flourished 
between a.o. 1330 and 15S0. 

t Anthony Powell married Ann. daughter of Edmund Matthews of Lan* 
dafr, and some of his MSS. Works is said to be in the library of Thomas- 
towa Castle. See Rsd Dimgoit for March, ZS87. 

t . 


Rees Powell, of Maesteg, of that date. It is evident that he 
was a man of letters, and was much interested in everything 
pertaining to Welsh literature, and particularly that of the 
Bardie Chair of Tir larll. He has left a few fragments of 
poetry, which may be seen in the book called '* Cyfrinack 
Biirdd Ynys Prydain*'* Also his love letters, which are pre- 
served in **Talii$in"-'^ai quarterly magazine, edited by the 
late Rev. J. Williams {Ab lihil), and they are reputed by that 
learned critic to be among the very best compositions m the 
Welsh language. His name is the first inscribed on the 
family tombstones, the date of his death being 161 8 ; and the 
shield, with arms, inscribed upon his sepulchre, is in itself 
sufficient to prove that he was locally, at all events, a man of 
note and consideration. Llwydarth, - the house which he 
inhabited, also, although it is now only a substantial farmer's 
house, contains evidence that it was built to be the dwelling 
of a man who held a position of importance and regard 
among his nei(^hbours. It is substantially built, in a com- 
manding situation, and in a spot chosen by one who had 
evidently a taste for the beautiful. It is curious to contrast 
the present outlook from the eminence occupied by Llwyd- 
arth, with the scene which met the eye of Anthony Powell* 
when he looked out in search of inspiration, or wrapped in 
contemplation of the beauty of nature. Then, doubtless, 
there lay spread betore him a peaceful valley — covered with 
verdure, and dotted here and there with white farmhouses, 
above which Llwydarth stood, like a chieftain surveying his 
vassals. Beyond, the silvery I.lyfnwy wound through the 
valley, with its placid current disturbed only by the leaping of 
the trout, and the skimming of the swallow as it brushed the 
water with its wing. And the back ground to the whole 
picture was the Mael y Gartk^ Gelly Ehlig^ and the distant hills, 
then probably wooded to the summit, the home of the raven, 
and perchance of the eagle. 

To-day, Llwydarth commands a view of collieries, with 
their adjacent black tips ; coke ovens, with their fiery mouths 
gaping; tinworks, with their volumes of smoke. The ear is 
assailed with the bang of the steam hammer, the clatter of 
machinery, and the roar and the scream oi the locomotive on 
the railway below. One might possibly lament the old days, 
did not one remember that these sights and sounds— so o£fen* 
sive to the aesthetic and artistic, are evidence of industry and 
science, of power and wealth, of comfort and prosperity, 
that even the great knew not in the days of Anthony Powell. 

Maesteg Farmhouse, as it is now called, must have been 
beautifully situated, — standing, as it did, deep in the valleyt 


near the river bank, and in the midst of green fields. If 
Llwydarth may be said to have resembled a proud chieftain 
on the heights, Maesteg may be likened to a hermit, con- 
tented, though lowly, and happy in the peace of the valley. 
This house also bears evident traces of past importance and 
venerable age. The apartments are spacious, though low 
and dark, the walls are thick and massive. Very curious is 
the old malting-floor, which was discovered some years ago 
between the false floor of one of the upper rooms and the 
ceiling of the one below ; a relic, presumably, of the days of 
smuggling. There is also an old reading desk in the kitchen, 
where formerly some itinerant preacher was wont, perhaps 
in defiance of the then existing law, to meet and exhort a 
body of worshippers who periodically assembled there. Al« 
together the place has an ancient look; although now en- 
croached upon by the coke ovens and pit refuse of Oakwood 
Colliery, which threaten, at no distant date, to cover the old 
house, and to obliterate one of the links that connect Llan- 
gynwyd with a glorious, though peaceful past. 

Pedigree op the Powells op Masteg. 

The Powells claim to be descendants of Eynon ap Collwyn, 
according to the received pedigrees, which, in the great 
majority of cases, must be fictitious. John Gwyn Powell, of 
Maesteg (with whom the really authentic part of the pedigree 
begins), was the thirteenth in descent from that odious man 
Eynon. It is impossible to understand why so many of the 
Glamorganshire families, when they invented their pedigrees 
as we now see them, in the beginnmg of the Tudor period»_ 
had not better taste than to choose, while they were about it, 
so despicable a person as their common progenitor. It is a 
consolation to think that certainly not more than a tithe 
of the persons who claim descent from Eynon ap Collwyn, 
and Jestyn ap Gwrgan, can be entitled to that very doubtful 

I.— John Gwyn Powell (thirteenth in descent, as it is said, 
from Eynon ap Collwyn) was the third son of Howel ap John 
Goch, mard. Felice, dau. of Richd. Rees Lloyd, of Havod y 
Porth, ap leuan David Fychan. They had i, Rees ; 2, 
William ; 3, Edward ; 4, a daughter, mard to William 
Llewelyn, of Bettws ; 5, Margaret, mard. to Evan Madoc, or 
Efiain ap Llywelyn ap Hopkin, of Bayden ; 6, Catherine; 7, 
Wenllian. John Gwyn Powell had also two base children- 
John and Maiy. 

IL— Rees Powell, of Maesteg, mard. Catherine, dau. of 


Thomas ap William ap Hywel, genU, and issued i, John ; a, 
^Thomas; 3, Catherine, and 4, Felice. 

Ill.^john Powell, of Maesteg, mard. Susan, dau. of Evan 
Phillips, gent^ and issued 

IV.— Rees Powell, of Maesteg, «ii^. who mari Joanna, 
dau. of the Rev. Morgan Jones, B.D., Rector of Llanmaes, 
by Mary, dau. of Arthur Yeoman, Alderman of Cardiff, and 
issued John (living in 1677); 2, fGervace; 3, Anthony 
<whence Powell, of Goston) ; and two daughters, one of whom 
. (Mary) being the first wife of the Rev. Samuel Jones, of 

v.— Gervace Powell, of Maesteg, mard. 1 Catherine, dau. 

of Oliver , and heiress of St. John the Baptist Chapel, at 

Llantrissent. called Capel leuan Fcdyddiwr. His second 
wife's name is unknown. By Catherine, he had Alice Powe}^* 
to whom he bequeathed Maesteg. She maid. Phillip 
Lougher, of Hendre-Owain, and had, xst, a dau., who di»d 

young ; 2, , heiress of Maesteg and Hendre-Owain, mard. 

to Richd. Turberville, of Ewenny. Gervace PoweU's second 
dau., Florence, mard. John Williams, of Park, and had several 
children. One of the daughters- Catherine -mard. Samuel 
Price, of Tynton, Llangeinor, and had issue, whence descends 
the Lewis, of Green Meadow. By his second wife, Gervace 
Powell had a son Rees, who became 

VI.—Rees Powell, of Llanharan, mard. Elizabeth, dau. of 
Rev. Goodwin Lewis, Rector of Neath, whose brother, 
William Lewis, settled on her Crigatt, near Neath. Her first 
husband was Anthony George, of Llanfair (?» She died 5th 
January, 1743 ? »ge<i ^3- ^X ^^®^ Powell, she had, x, John ; 
2, Rees; 3, William (who became a barrister, and died in- 
testate, and single, 5th Feb., 1770 ; aged 52) ; 4, Gervace ; 
5. Florence, mard. Edward Lloyd, of Cardiff, and had Joan, 
married Robert Jones, of Fonmon ; 6, Mary (died 1773)» 
mard. ist, Thomas Roberts, of Llandaff, died 1740; 2nd, 
Thomas Edwards, of Llandaff; 7, Alice, maid. William 
•Gibbon, of Trecastle. 

VIL— Rees Powell, of Llanharan, " one of the mos 
worthy gentlemen that ever was bred in Glamorganshire, for 

•\Va» Under Sheriff of Glamorgan in 1349, Chriftophcr Turberville. 
of Pennine, being Sheriff. He filled the office in Z554* when Sir Rioe 
Mansell was Sheriff. 

t The name Gervace still wrvivee in the present owner of Maettq;— 
•Gervace POweU Turberville, Esq., of Ewenny Abbey .^(1858). 


learning, piety, and pity for the poor,** died unmarried i6th 
Nov., 1738; aged 35. Gervace Powell, ofLlanharan, LL.B*r 
t/^ Rector of Llanfigern and^^Ifiithyx— Tydfil, and Preb, of 
Llandaff, died 8th July, 1795; aged 72; the last male of the 
Powells of Llwydarth. He was mard- to Margaret, dau. of 
Charles Vaughan, of Vsgethrog, Co. of Brecon. They had, ir 
Gervace, died an infant ; 2, Elizabeth, co-heir, mar<l- Richard 
Turberville Picton ; 3, Catherine, co-heir, mar<l* Sir George 
(Wyn ; 4, Joan, mani Major Ollney, of Gloucestershire ; 5, 
Margaret, died youn^. 

These three co-heirs executed a deed of partition of the 
£state, and Llanharan House was sold to Richard Hoare 
Jenkins, of Pant*yn-awel. 

Powells op Bayden and Tondu. 

This branch of the Powell family are of the same descent 
as the Powells of Maesteg, taking its rise from Howell ap- 
John Goch, of Llwydarth, reputed to be twelfth in descent 
from Eynon ap Coll wyn. 

I.^ John, sixth son of Howell ap John Goch, of Llwyd- 
arth, mar<l' Crisby, dau. of Rees ap Jenkin, of Llangeinor, and 
bad Howell and Rees. 

n.^HoweU ap John, of Bayden, mar<l. Anabel, base dau. ' 
of Jenkin Bevan Madoc ; they had Thomas, and four other 

HL— Thomas Powell, of Bayden, mard. Barbara, dau. of 
Edward Lewis, of Llanishen. 

IV.- Thomas Powell, of Tondu, mard. a dau. of Spencer,, 
and had Thomas. 

v.— Thomas Powell, of Tondu, mard. Rachel, dau. of* 
William Turberville,' of Heol-Us, ap David, second son of 
Edward Turberville, of Sutton ; they had four children. 

VL— Thomas Powell, of Tondu, mard. Ann, dau. and co* 
heir of John Thomas, of Llanbedr-ar-Fynydd, by Ann, dau.. 
of George Gibbon, of Trecastle ; they had three children. 

Vn.-^Thomas Powell, of Tondu, Sheriff 1747, died single- 
Had a natural dau., who mard. William David, of Coychurch, 
and had issue. 

VHL^a. Edward Powell, of Penywain, in Llanharry and 
Tondu, Sherifi 1767, died single. Settled Tondu and Llan- 
bedr on John, second son of John NichoU, of Llanmaes, and 
Peoywain on David Griffiths— his right heirs. 

David Nicholas. 

This enainent bard and literate was the son of one Robert 


Nicholas, and Ann Rees, whose marriage is recorded in the 
Parish Registers as follows :*^ 

** Robert Nicholas, of Llangynwyd, and Ann Rees,of the • 
same place, were married on the 12th day of Febry., 1699."' 

In the same Register, we find the baptism of their son^ 
David, which took place on the ist day of July, 1705. It 
appears that he spent a good |>ortion of his early life in the 
neighbourhood of his birth, for in a law case in which he was 
the plaintiff {Nicholas r* Powell, of Llanharan), filed November 
17th, 1737, he is mentioned as of Llangytiwyd. We are 
also informed by tradition that he conducted a day school for 
some time at Llangynwyd Village. 

The author of the '* Cambrian Biography" tells us that 
he was a native of Ystradyfodws^, which is not correct ; he 
lived but a short time at that place, where he followed his 
profession of a schoolmaster, and he afterwards resided at 
Glyncorrwg; for we find in a letter which is still extant^ 
addressed to his friend, the Rev. Edward I fan, of Aberdare^ 
that he lived at the latter place in the year 1754, and, possibly, 
still following the same profession, lolo Morganwg speaks 
of David Nicholas as his '* intimate friend,*' and the " learned 
Bard of Aberpergwm." He was a distinguished bard of the 
"Glamorgan Gorsedd,'* a disciple of David Hopkin, of 
Coety, and a contemporary of Rhys Morgan, of Pencraig 
Nedd ; John Bradford, of Bettws ; and Lewis Hopkin, of 
Llantrissant, &c. 

However, as regards his native place, he may be better 
known in Wales as the family bard of the ancient house of 
Aberpergwm, at which place he ended his days, and was- 
buried, and on his grave there is placed a tombstone, which 
bears the following concise inscription, which may be re-^ 
garded as an epitome of his useful life :— 


Dapydd Nicholas, Bardd Teulu Aberpergwm drm 50 mlynedd, 

a'r diweddaf, fe allai, o'r cyfryw yn Nghymru. 

Bu yo athranv i'r anwybodus, 

Yn feddyg I'r ctaf, 

Ac yn brydydd anianawl tryddawo. 

Ganwyd ef yo 1693; btt farw yo 1769. 

The inscription on the tomb is misleading, the date given as- 
of his birth making him appear much older than he really was. 
His letter on Welsh Poetry is considered masterly, and he 
was looked upon by those of his contemporaries as a great 
authority on the Glamorgan Rules of Poetry. . His Ballads- 
are among the choicest in the Welsh language, and several 


-of them have been translated into English.* Perhaps the 
best known of them are the **Aderyn Pur" and ** Fanny 
Bhdau'f Ffaif'' These, with others* are set to music in that 
^excellent collection of Welsh Airs, published by the late 
talented Miss Jane Williams, of Aberpergwm. 

The Gblly Family. 

Although some of the most distinguished families in 
Glamorganshire are descended from more than one illustrious . 
stock, who at one time resided, and possessed a considerable 
portion of Llangynwyd parish, we regret to say that, within 
the whole of the '* Old Parish ** at the present moment, with 
the exception of Mr. G. T. Jenkins, of Gelly, there are none 
who may be regarded as resident landowners. 

The Gelly House is situated in the extreme north of the 
parish, and presents a good specimen of the old Cymric style 
of building, comprising the characteristic thick walls, low 
•entrances, massive oak beams, and stone tiles, &c. 

The land is mountainous, having an aspect wild and 
picturesque, and is extremely rich in minerals. 

The Gelly Farm, according to the parish map, consists of 
872 acres and 3 perches of land. We have no account 
shewing at what period the ancestors of the present owners 
first settled in the Parish, nor the circumstances connected 
with their becoming the owners of that exceedingly 
mountainous part of it. 

Doubtless the transaction took place at a very remote 
time. We are, however, able to trace the family at the end of 
the X7th century, in a release from Thomas Jenkins to his 
daughter, bearing date 1693. The: j is also a recotd at the--.^ 
same period of another .Thomas Jenkins, who was the son and 
heir of the estate, and eldest branch of the family, who died 
in the year 1700. 

From the last named, the lineal descendants and heirs of 
4he property were as follows :— 

Jenkio Thomas, died 1727. Thomas Jenkins, died 1853. 

Thomasjenkins, „ 1753. Jenkin Thomas Jenkins „ 1876. 

Jenkin lliomas, „ xSax. 

J. T. Jenkins was the last of the eldest branch of the 

* In this place it may be observed that Mrs. Pendril Llewelyn, wife of 
the present Vicar, has translated some of them, but they have not been 
published in a collected form. Many of that lady's verses appeared in the 
Cambrism and Merthyr GunrdisH newspapers, and some in the Arch^iologia 
Cam^tmsis {Vols. I. and II.). Mrs. Llewelyn translated also a small collec- 
tion of Williami oC Pantycelyn's hvmns, and published them in the year 
1857. She was bom at Cowbndge, lath March, i8ix. Died at the 
Ticanfe, I9tb November, 1874. 


family, which upon his death became extinct, and the property 
has now devolved upon the younger branch, after descending 
from father to eldest son for nearly 200 years, in an unbroken 
line. The last named gentleman was greatly esteemed in 
the Parish ; he had a kind and sympathetic nature, and was 
animated with hi^h principles ; a practical man of business, 
and honourable m his conduct. He was educated at 
Cowbridge School, and studied for the legal profession. He 
did not, however, exercise his legal acquirements beyond 
advising gratuitously his friends and neighbours. The 
parishioners in their adversity had no better friend or 
counsellor than the respected Squire of Gelly. In this capaci- 
ty he was often waited upon, and he cheerfully gave such 
advice and directions as would meet the case before him. 
The immense cortege which followed his remains to Llan- 
gynwyd Church testified to the great respect with which he 
was regarded. He served the Parish in various capacities, 
and was churchwarden for many years. The present 
National Schoolroom was built under his supervision. 

The gentleman living in Gelly at present, Mr. G. T. 
enkins, is the only surviving son ot Gwilym Treharne 
' enkins, who died March 9th, 185Q, and nephew of the above 
J. T. Jenkins. 

The Jenkins of Hendre-Owain were originally the Corrwg- 
Fechan family, the first of whom to own Hendre-Owain 
being Griffith Jenkins, the son of Richard Jenkins, who died 
in 1741. His brother, Richard Jenkins, of Corrwg- Fechan,. 
was High Sheriff of Glamorgan in the year 1750. Elias 
Jenkins, an eminent lawyer, who possessed a consider-^ 
able portion of the Parish, was the son of the same 
Griffith Jenkins, of Hendre-Owain ; he was buried at Llan* 
gynwyd in the year 18 14. 

Mr. Hopkin Llewelyn, of Margam, married Elizabeth,, 
daughter of the above Griffith Jenkins, and sister of Elias 

i enkins, and is also buried with his family at Llangynwyd. 
'he Jenkins, of Gelly, Corrwg-Fechan, and Blaen-Corrwg,. 
were, originally, three distinct families. The Blaen-Corrwg 
family emigrated from the Vale, but they are now connected. 
The Gelly famil;^* have been ever distinguished for their un- 
exampled hospitality, and generous and kindly conduct 
towards the poor and afflicted. Outside the Parish, the 
family was, perhaps, better known as being the proprietors of 
a celebrated pack of black hounds, which, during the last 50 
years had gained a remarkable notoriety in the County of 
Glamorgan by their performances ^and power ot endurance in 
the chase. The hounds were originally owned by Sir Thomas' 


Mansell, of Margam, who gave them up, to be afterwards 
followed, for a time, by his agent, Mr. Hopkin Llewellyn. 
who also gave them up. They were then taken by Thomas 
Jenkins, of Gelly, in connection with John Hopkin, of 
Cwrt y Mwnws, and John Crook, of Maesteg Isaf. The last 
two gentlemen soon withdrew their patronage, and left the 
pack in the entire possession of Mr. Jenkins, who was mastei 
of them until his death in 1832. 

But it appears that at no time was the chase supporte<l 
with such popularity, and followed with such ardour, as when 
the late lamented Mr. G. T. Jenkins was master of thestt 
hounds. He was a thorough type of the country gentleman 
of the **old school,** hunting being one of his fivpuritc; 
pastimes ; and many are the exciting runs of the famous Cw'^ 
JDuoHf and feats of horsemanship related of the hunts of thos«; 
days. Songs and ballads were composed and sung, recording; 
some of the most noted of them, such as *< Helfa*r Carw ** (Tht^ 
Stag hunt), *' Craig y Ttwgocd,'' "7 GaYtg Lwyd^' ami 
*• Cfaig y BwUfar &c., &c. 

Space will not permit us to place more than one of thos^t 
songs before our readers, the author being no less dis- 
tinguished a bard than the late Rev. John BlackwcU, M.A. 
(i4/»i»), Vicar of Mahorafon, in Pembrokeshire. 


Mab aweloD dydd yn deffro, Gwelwch. ni wna nant Da chlogwyli 

Gwelwcb niddiau'r boreu'n gwrido \ Beri i Nimrod'vifyTo mymryn ; 

A glywch cbwi sain com hela'r Gelli Leader, Guider, Topper, Germamt 

Yn rhoi Ufod i*r Clogwyni ? Fel yn hedeg drwy Gwm*Aman : 

Twif belyddion— own yn udo, Ringood, Famous, Countess, CoHUr^ 

Pob petb megyt yn cydfloeddio, Bluchet^ Staiely,~^Bm gyflymder 

* Heddyw ydyw'r dydd i ddala Haeddant sylw yn ngherdd bela 

Cadno cyfrwya Craig y BwUCa.*' Cadno cyirwya Craig y Rwllia. 

Dacw*r fvwiog dyrfa*n cycb wyn, Gan mor gyflym y mae'r cwmni 

Ac yn mfaenat vn y fyddin 'N gado ar ol y coed a*r Uetbri, 

Owelir ar et beffarch gwiigi Y mae'r Uethri fel yn neidio 

Toneddigaidd wr y Gelli : A'r coedwigoedd fel yn dawnsio. 

A'i g&r ymffrost Blaen-y-Corrwg, Gwelwch fel mae'r boll belyddion 

yik\ ac enaid bil Morganwg : Yn neidio'r cae — yn rbydio'r aiSon ; 

U gwm i fynydd, dacw'r dyrfa Hwv na bir y cofir hela 

*Nawr yn ymyl Craig y BwlUa. Cadno cyfrwya Craig y BwUCa. 

Oergri'r cil^n tydd acw*n dan^^ Troet yn awr, am nawdd a chyigod. 

Fed llocbesau'r cadno'n agoa, I'r Garreg.lwyd. hen ffau Uwjmogod ; 
•Cly wch y iloedd ay 'n crygo'r creigiau, Ond gwylwyr effroa ch^n yr Yatrad 

Dacw'r cadno'n llamn'r rhiwiau, Yma dorent ar ei fwriad. 

1 G%rm>Am<in. i Gwmgwyngnl, At Graig-yUyn cyfciria'n brysttr, 

A chwn y Gelli yn ei ymyl s Ond prysurach ei erlidwyr ; 

Xby ddiweddar edifara Rhy ddiweddar edifara • 

<iadael dUach Craig y BwUCa. Gadael cilfacb Craig y BwllfiL 



Clywcfa y floedd ty'tt rfawygo'r »• 

Mae'n carUmn'n NkH wm-grefolych ; 
At B<mt-walbi bwylia'rcidwm. 
A tbrwy'r coed wrtb Abeipergwoi ; 
Mm'o Ncbwm-Nedd ^dofer iddo 
I>dyiffwyi hamddeo i orpbwyao; 
Khy ddiwtfddar edifarm 
Oadael eitfacb Craig y BwllCa. 

Helwyr, meircb. a cbwo yn ymUd, 
A*i troM yn ol. er cadw*i fywyd. 
At Graig->-llyn &'r Gorngocb eto. 
Tr Garrcf Iwjd am le'i yngaddio; 

Methai Kyrbaedd ffaii ddyogel ; 
Dypa*r fontlef ar yr awel. 
' Daliwyd, daliwyd. daliwyd yma, 
Gadno cyfrwyt Craig y Bwllfia.*' 

Nid byn yw*r cyfao— dacw'r cwmai 
Wrth groesawgar fwrdd y Gelli, 
A gwydraid llawo, a cbaloo tawen 
Yu yfed 'hedd a Uwydd y aoi 

YIed ' teulu Blaen-v-cormrg, 
A helwriaeth gwlad Porganwg/ 
A phob gwroo a fu'o bela 
Cadoo cyfrwyt Craig y BwlUa. 

Instancbs op Unusual Longbvity. 

It was not until the year 1813 that the ages were given 
in the Registers of the rarish, when the present form was 
issued according to an Act of Parliament. Those appearing 
in this list, who were buried previous to the above date, are 
copied from the tombstones in the old Churchyard :— 

1774 Jane Tenkint aged 

1775 Elizabetb David aged 
1777 Evan Lewis aged 
1800 Gweolliao Lewis aged 
1807 Add Treham aged 

1813 Madoc Efan aged 

1814 Maud Samuel aged 
1817 Jennet David aged 

1832 lenkinTbomas(GeUy) „ 
X837 Mary Thomas aged 
X831 Charles Fisher aged 

1833 Llewelyn David (Llwyni) 
183a William Thomas (Nant- 

yflfyllon) aged 

1839 Lyson Lewis aged 

1845 loan Evans aged 

1845 Marv Hopkin aged 

1847 David John aged 

X847 Catherine Treham David 

(Ty*nywain) aged 

1849 Sarah Bowen aged 

185 1 Prudence Morgan aged 
X853 Mary Dunn aged 

1855 Mary Smith aged 
X856 Ann Thomas aged 

1856 Mary Watkins ) buruMl 
1856 William Bevan ) same day 

X856 Elisabeth Griffiths aged 95 

1857 Marv Griffiths aged 94 

X85H Wm. Evans (Penlan) aged 89 

i860 Mary David aged 93 
x86s Morgan Daniel (Gil&ch. 

isha) aged 88 
z86a John Hopkin (Cwrty- 

mwnwsf aged 92 
1863 Morgan Sion (Troadyrhiw) 94 

1863 Joan Thomas aged 93 

Z875 John Evans (Brynmawr) 95 

1878 Elizabeth Llewelyn aged 89 

1878 Thomas Rees (Traveller's 
Rest) aged 94 

1879 Jane Rees ' aged 88 
1881 George Edwards aged 94 
1883 Mary David (Tonybaili) 89 
1883 Mary Reek aged 9a 
X883 Mary McMara aged 9a 
X883 Jenkin Jones (Caergymrig) 92 
Z814 Ann Jenkins (Sychbant) 91 
1885 Thomas Da vies aged 88 
1883 David Maddock (Vartef() 91 
z886 David Davies (Glan yr 

Afon) aged 93 
aged 100. 
» 87. 


^ In the above list, only those who had reached the a^e of 
88 and upwards are mentioned ; and , had we thought it of 
sufficient interest, as many more could be added by a coDi> 



plete scrutiny of the whole of the Registers. We are. 
informed by an old lady of 87 summers now living in Llan. 
Village, that she remembers being in the funeral of an old 
dame, known as Biss o'r Capel, who was buried at Llan- 
gynwyd, at the ripe age of 109. Presumably she was born at 
the end of the 17th, lived through the whole of the x8th, and 
died in the 6th year of the present century, but this we 
cannot certify from the Registers of the Parish. 




AFriMd. ItmlM 
Ak«hartt, Mr. wm., 
Anbcnt Mr. a, Maiittg 

Itoker, Mr. &, Man«iB 

BaIImiI, Mr. O , Uwydarlh-totd 

llAllard, Mr. B.. UwylArih-roMl 

Balliniiar. Mr. J.. Th« Frv* Ubnury, < 

B«rrow, Mr. J.. OharchwwdvB. f < 

BelM. Mr. L.. Bndff^ 

K«>nn«r. Mr. H.. Hock H wm«, Mmi»U«. S ( ^ 

B«v«a, Mr. Kv*ii, ])r{(lf;«ntl-iWMl. M a — t ig. 

IWran, Mr. E., MoMUia Ath. feoplw. 

livran, Mr. Jobo, LlAD^dvra, B.H.O. 

B«van, Mr. Wm., Ab«ricwj>Dtt. 

Ik^yaoa, Mr. I**?i«l. Commcrdal'idvMlk Murtjg 

BluMe. a F. Lynch, F^q., Cardiff 

Bottcbvr. Mr. (icorff«, l*«iieo«d 

Bowvn, Kbw«B«r, K»q . cnnclDiuUi, O. 

Kowan, .Mr. Qtorge. UwTilBrtli.iM4 

Bowm. Mr. D.. Garth. MmH«c 

Bo^ta. ]!•?. W. K.. MM«Uf 

Carr, Mr. Frand*, Panrhlvcdbr 

Collier. Mr. 8Uph«ii. Jan., Bridged 

CoUiu. Mra. CL. Ma«at<f 

Cummiafi^ Mr. J., Tjriur'a Towb, FsolrptUd 

Davlaa, Rar. J. T., M.A.. Llaamadock. Oow« 
1>avid. E. T.. fiaq.. Holtcitor, Bridicnad 
DaYi«B, Prof. David. CinciniiaU. O. 
Dariaa. .Mr. Darld, Ur«r|iool Mo«a«» MiMtijl. 

Darid, >ir. D R., Margam 
naviai, Mli«, Ballty'a Arma. Mtokte 
DaTia*, Mr. John. Panrhlweaihr 
Davlaa, Mlaa Vary, Whita Uon. Maca4af 
Dariaa, Mr. D.. Danran La*. Monntaia Aah 
DaTica, Mr Griffith. Khondda Valley. 
Darlaa, Mr. J. P . B<K.k««ller, Forth. 
Dariaa, Mr. Edwin. MHa«(cg 
Dariaa. Mr. Phillip. Mill-ntraet. < 
IHTiea. Dr. John, Maaateg. iT oo. 
DaTiaa. Mra. Catiiarina, MMaatag 
Davtaa. Mr«. Mary. WhlU Uoa laa 
Darfci Mr. H. M.. Ma«ateg 
Davlaa, Mr. H. B.. Naaiymoal 
DHviaa, Mr. Uawalyn. Bridjtaad-road, Maaattf 
Davlea. Mr. Jainaa, Oroear, Uaagyawyd. M 

I>«Tfaa, Mr. Thom»B, Maaaeadlawr, Uancyawyd 
Darlaa, Mr. Hugh, A.C . {Pmeerdd Jttuior), 

Datlaa, Mr. 0. U.. Coromarelal-atraat. Maaatog 
DaTlaa. Mr. T.. WhiU Lion Inn, Maaattg 
Daviaa, Mr. T., Amwrteaa Sapply, Maaattg, 1 

Davlat, Mr. Monaa. Uwydarth-toad, MaaaAif 
Daviaa, Mr. Darla, ChnrchwanUa. f oopiaa 
llavld, Mr. Wia.M>(d Hooaa. LUagynwyd^ 

David, Mr. Ji»h^ Tyatoa. Uaagyawyd 
Daararaa, Tha RIchI Uoaoriihla ttaa 


Karl, R«v. Saaia^l, 81. NIeholaa 
F^niaiida, Mr. Kra^, Panrhiwodbr 
Kdmanda. Mr. John. Nantyffyllna 
Xdwurd*. Owao, Kaq., B.A.. Ballol OoUft, 

Rdwarda, Mr. Wm., Moaatala Aah 
Kdwaril^ Mr. Jack, Cincinnati. O. 
Kdwania, Bar. Wm., OKmoro VaUaf 
Kllia, Mr. H., Mountoin Aah 
Erana, Kar. J. (iwonogfryn, Oxford 
Kvnna, Mr. Baf<Jamin, <}«llv l^anor. 4 eoplM 
Kraat, .Mr Tador, Bank Chambora, CardUf 
Kvana, Mr. Rvan. Vool. S eopiaa 
Kvana. Mr. Kh«iies»r, Maaat^c. S eopiaa 
Rvana. Mr. Wm.. Parl«h (nMrlt. S eopiaa 
KvMia, Miaa CecilU. LUn VillnML 2 eoplM 
Erana, Mr. Haary, 4. BrowB<atnot, Miailig 
Evana, Mr. Baaa. NantyffyUoB 
Evan*. Mr. Uariah U., Mixkln-atraot, Cardiff 
Evana. Mr. w. o , Miakin-atrpot, Cardiff 
Evana, Mr. D. Kmlyn, Haraford 
Evana, Mr. John, *'Chroolei«"Offlee, BrIdfMdL 

Evana. Mr. William. Mynydd Byehaa. 4 ••p^a 
Kvana, Kav. Tboma. Hwaaaaa 
Evana. Mr. Mi>rRan. Lliingynwyd SUtioa 
Kvana, Mr. Edward. Mar|ia«n 
Evana, Ctpt. T. R., Cola City, Ooorgla, U.S. 
Evans Capt. J. R.. Colo City, Oaorgia, U.S. 
EvMa, Mr. Wm. K.. Yndi^noptilia Ind., U.S. 
Kvana, Mr. Morgan. Indianopolia, lad., VA 
Evana, Mr. h^ildlaT.. Cincinnati. O. 
Evana, Mr. W. D., (Peneerddy, Ciaefcarali, a 
Kvana, R«v. R.. Olyncotrwg 
Evana, Mr. Joha.. Aborf wynfl 
Evana. MIm M.. China Inland Miaaloa, Shaagal 
Evana. Mr. O.. Jalfraya Hott>l. Moaalala Aah. 
Kyaon, Mr. John. Panrhlwcoibr 
E}BOB, Mr. U., Oxford-atract, r 

Gooria, M'. David, Panrhlwcalbr 

Uaorga. Mr. laaae, Paarhlwerlbr 

Gray, David. Kik|.. Uudar Hill Villa. S eopiaa 

Gray. Mr. William, Uwydarth-road 

Gray. Mr. J. D.. Hara Hou-a. near Bridgend 

Griffltha, Tha Vanerabla Arehda»eoa, Naath 

GritHtba, David. Eaq , PaoUn. Paaeoad. teoi 

Griffitha^ Mr. John. Cwmcerwyn. t eoplea 

Griffitha, Miot C . CommarGial.atrae4, Maealeg 

Orlflltha, Mr. Joha,Oakwoed CeUiery 


Griffith*, Mr. P. F.. Cinetnniiti. O. 18 ©r»rl«i 
Oriffith^ Mr. J«me« V.. Col« City, Georgia. U.S. 
Wriffitha. Mlw Kmlly, MnwteK 
Griffiths, IUt. D. P., Oiinh .Maestcff 
Oriffith*. Mr. T., FeDThlwwlbr , „ ^ _ 
OriflitbM. Mr. Richard (CametftfosfX Naotnor, 

Ormow, Mr. D. 
Gl6Ter, .Mr. Wib.» Uyafl Schools, Macrtag. S 

Onilford, Vr. T., Ty-cwm. Lbnpynwyrt 
Oailford, Mr. L.. rfafod^lecaf, Manram 
ilwj% Bowel, Esq., DyfTryn, Neath. S oopfaa 

Harris, Janeii, Esq., Cardiff 

HarriN .Mr. K. J. K^ynoldntown, Oowar 

HemmiDfcs. Dr.. Aborewynti 

HenuningM. J.. Ktq.. Bridf;end 

Hsyoock. Mr IVilliMin, P ntre. Ystrad 

Hicks, Mr. W.. Penrhiwceibr 

Howell*, .Miss A , St. At» an*. 2 copiw 

Howells, Mr. M , Oipmrrd-l-street, Mnesteg 

Uoweils Mr. J., Commercial-street, Maesteg. 

t ropier 
Howells, Mr. Joseph. Caerileon 
Howells, MeT. Thomas, Lonsland, Pyle 
HopkiD^ Mr. WiUiam, Island iTarm, Bridgesd. 

2 copies 

Hughes, Mr. Morpin, Garw > njley 
MoilheisMr. J, Ulwysfrya. WoodvUla-tcrrace, 

Hnghes, Miss Jennet. Llan ViUaco 
Hashes, >lr. Ditvid Mnestrg. 2 copies 
Hnches. Mr. John, Ri»ca, Mon. 6 copies 
Hnghes. Ker. William. St. David's, Ograor* 
Unlchinson, Mr. Hubert, >lae*>teg 

^IMAC Mrs., Bookseller, Maesteg. 6 copies 

James, Dr., Porthcawl ^ 

James, Mrs. RIkhIs, Khondda Valley 
James. Mr. John, Bridgend 
James, Mr. Henry, Pei.i hiwceihr 
Jenkins, O. T., K^q. Oelly. Vi copies 
Jenkins, Mrs., Gr««nfleld. itsgian. H copies 
Jenkins, Keea, Ksq., Bronyderl. Olynoorrwg, 

3 copies 

Jeiikios, .Mr Ed., Bridgend. S copies 
Jenkins, Mr. John, Maei.t(>g Mill. 2 ooplea 
Jenkins, Mr. Lewis. Penrhiwielbr ' . ^ 
Jenkins. Mr. Kvan. Bonkse ler, Moaatain Ash 
Jenkins, Mr. C, Mruntain AHh 
• Jenkins, >lr. Morris, Tenneswet^ U.S. 
Jones. Darid, Esq., Walllngton, Surrey. « 

Jon^ifj. W., E»q., Llanfair Villa, Cafshalton 

Jones, Miss Lizzir. Llwydnrth-road 

Jones, Mr. H , Llw«daHh*road 

Jones, Mr. William, Llwydnrth-road 

Jones, Mr. Evan, Llwydnrth-roiid 

Jones. Mr. Dsrid, Pontrhydyfen 

Jones. Mr. John, Osdlys Factory. S copies 

Jones, Mr. L. O., Tondtt _ ^, 

Jones, Mr. William, Cwro Cerdtn 

Jones, Mr. Thomas, Balden 

Jones, Mr. Thumas. Kychbant 

Jones, Mr. O. H., Braichycyraroer. S eoplee 

JoBca, Rev. 8..Ty^erwen, Xpelter 

Jones, Mr. Lewie. Pentre, Yftrad 

JeMs, Mra. OweaUiaD. Oeliy-leDor Facb. 4 

JosmT PrinHpal Virfami. Cardiff University 
Jonee. Mr. PhUlip, Oam Inn, Maeateg.. teopita 

Jone«. R'-T. J. R., M.A.. Ben Py Cwrdd, 

Aberdare ^ _. 

Jones, .Mis« .Margsret. Blaengwynl 
Jones, Mr. Kvsn, P-nrhlwcelbr 
Jones. .Mr. Phillip, Penrhiwceibr 
Jonei*. Mrs. Ann, Tymsen, Llsngynwyd 
Jones, Mr. N. .M., (Cymro GfienWX Uterpool 
Jones, Mr. John, Penrhiwceibr 

Ksltenharh, Mr. Bertln. Maesteg 
Knight, Rer. C. R, Tythegstone Govft 

Uandaff, The Right Rer. Lord Biahep of. % 

Lewis, .Miss M. A. 
Lewis Mr. David, Alma Road 
]«w|s, Mr. Hush. Ahergwyntt 
I^wiH, Mr. Wni., Ty'npnnt 
I^win. Mr Wat kin, Gsrth 
Lowi'^H ^>T*- ^' ^1- Garth Schools 
i^*i^, Mr. ,1. B,. Maesteg ^, „, 

U«wo1j«, IUt. tt. Pendril, M.A.,Llaa Vicarage. 

Llew t*h n , Will , Kaqr., Court Colmnn. 8 copies 
Ll^wfljD, J. r D., K-qr., Penlle'rgaer. 2cHp<ei 
Llt^we yn. Krv. D. J.. Glsnllyfni. 2 copies 
IJuwel^n^ Mr. Uees, L*angynwyd. 2 oopies 
I,lf>wfkyii, Mr. F^l ., Llang> nwya 
JJpvrh r, Mr \Vm., Oanh , ^^ . . . •. 
JJewf Ivn. :]^[r. T., Mii>kin Hotel, Mountain A»h 
hme^titk, Mr. John, Jan., Llangynwyd 
LfTTL-lm k, MiM Amelia, Llangynwyd ^ . , . 
Llojil. fi. O. V , Esq., Berth iUgatt, Denbigh- 

1,IovIh M"-. AtiTrtham. 8o<1dy, Tennessee, U.S. 
LoVell, it«v. K. K., Maesteg 

Mfldoc, Mi. Wm. Ap, Utica, New York, U.S. 1 

itflsliKi k<, Mr. Moignn, Ci'fn Vdfa. 8 copies 
M ji ,\i \i ick s M r. Wm , P»»ntre, Llangynwyd 
Mill nil ii^kK, Mr. .MoMcs. Kings Heait. Maesteg 
jrpitflH'k!", ^Ir. Wm.. PryHlog, near Maeateg 
MkiI. OL'kfl. Mr. Evan. Vi»rtig, near .Maeatrg > 
Mmkli-ck*. Mr. DHvId, Varteg. near Maesteg 
MrtdrlHcliflH Mr. Wm. Blaonllyfnl, near Matwtcg 
MjhJ,|B'( Vn, .Mr. D 11., Muwumstreet, Caerlo'>n 
MflUdnrkit Mr. John, Pontrhydyoyff, Llan^iyn- 

>rrti:.i f*cU, Mr. T., AbeTBW)-nft 

Mn'M-ck'i, MiM Ania, near Swansea 

Mull! »iiiTfcii}.s .Mr. Wm., Penrhiwceibr 

MDJnT, Mrs. harah, Oadlys. LUngynwyd. • 

KtiiwfMT. David, UwyngwUdys, Llangynwyd. 

S copies 
Margrave. R., B!«qr., Llanelly 
Mathews. Mr. Evan. Penrhiwceibr 
Millar, Dr. W., Maesteg. 2 copies 
Miluian, Mr. Jsmes, Waeateg. 2 eoplee 
Monlrcai, Mr. David, M»ost»;g 
Morgan, Mr. Rhys D..Mj» Lteurvfg)K% ftfg 
>f organ. Rev. Dr., (lAtunrg), Llanelly 
Morgan. Mr. T , drajier. M.esteg. 2 copies 
Morgan, Mr. T. R.. St. Vincent, Qipe Verdes 
Morgan, Mr. J. Rhys, M-chynlleth „ ^ , 
Morgan. Mr. PhiUlp, Alma Cottage, Maettrg. S 

Morgan, Mr. John, Qneen^street. Maesteg 
Morgan, Owen, Esq. (i/rnen). Trefforest 
Morris, Rev. H., Coity, near Bridgend. 
Morris, Mr. D.. 72. Garth, near Maeeteg 
Morrto^ J. a, Ksq.» PUeH«wydd, MMsleg 


M«niMi. Mr. JaIim, Coomtrdftl-HrMl, IfiwHj 
Morinui. Mr. Rbw.. PMirhiwevibr 
Montft", Mr B., MoMUte Ash 

OwM, Mr. W. J.. DrMfiHl 
itwMi, R«r. Ci»l«H, (iiirw V*11«T 
OAt«. Mr. Alfrad, Afmdw^ Ho 

l»«rrr, Mr. Orifflih R, XMiaior, 
P»rnr. Mr. Davl<l. R. Low bUt D. uVtrpool 
Pblilliw. R«v. Havfcl. Ht. Oror||«*i ViUa» ' 
Pov«(l7.Mr. WilllMn. MumIm 
~ 1. Mr. D. R. MtMltf 

Powtll. Miw M.. KMflf 

P«w«U. Mr O. H., M<trH«w, J«fr. Co. Oelondo 

IVw«IU rrotfwor f , Uairtnltf ColUf«.CM4UL 

t codIm 
P«w«ll. W. 8., Baq.» Eglwyt ffymid, Brar BmI 

Powell. Mr. Jm , PfthfaitM, N«w lMaM4 
Prw^ Dr. O. W.. Clnrtnii»tl. O. U.M. 
Pugb, Uor. O., Tbo Vicang^ R«ttwt 

Rooo, Mr. T«\#r, >tiiMt#K 

Hoofi. .Mr. Thanui^ m.-iitU, ^fji.<t*t«f 

ROM, Mr. Kvit . CciJtr. t ri>pl«a 

K«M, .\lr. H.. oU^hyfttU .Mhv-li'i;. 4 «Ql»l« 

KoM, Mr. .M J.« T^triirfi, UkUK^avid 

Rooa. Dr. AUfi^K T ir.hll 

Roar, Dr. Hi.<Ft]]., iTwrnavusfta 

Rom, I>r. JoMn, iVi.ftnh 

Rcoii, Mr. T««Tn, Mnr^tv^ 

Kooa, .Mr. Wm^ Hojie mul Crown, rtun^titWYd 

Rom. .Mr DnTitt ^ .. Xoo|H«t 

2loo«, .Mr. Kran. Mao«t«f Snnply. f coploa 

Roea. Mr. Thoroa-. Hwan UoUl, AborMDUMB 

I^oo^ .Mr. David, Tondn 

Rooa. .Mr. John, Ch«mlKt, Maeatof 

Rao*. Mr. Ihomaa. Staiioninaatrr, Llaiifyiiwyd 

Boo^ .Mr. KUwMd, CaaUU FMrn, LUosyawyd. 


JtM-i, Mr Wilt,, Lain 11 A iJagi Uuigjuvjid. 

. Hofii» ATr, t^jiim^initvl, Mhrateg 
H«c», Mt«<. Jtjriirji Kiino. t {ji^ptaa 
ItMf)^ MJH >r , litiiiirt'liin VjifWy 
Rues Mr. JVjitlil, kh UP' til A VnlJef 
lithi^rt, Mr, Wiah, MrttyhniTiKtiH Tkttwa 

ttlfhar*!^, Mr. V.^w, lt<*^|tMl!«r, Mtte«WA 

Ulii A»h 
He; iiiJihiBi ^ir. JODathmn {Saihaf^ ^yf*<f*} ^ln» 

nick (III i, Robert, Kaq., CaAtt» Fi«td« Malady, 

Roborta. Mr. T. L..Ty Chwyih 8cboola. MMrttf 
RoborU, Mr. O. Bryan, BriiUnl«, Portll 
Roach, .Mr. John, Ponrbiwcoibr 
Roderick. R»T. D., Tho Vicarago, Coektil 
Kjrdar, Air. Wm., FortboMdoe 

Bbowon, J. T. P., Fan , Wow Branawlck 
Bbawoo. Mr*., Bod Hyfryd, OkmoaatorahiM 
HoBltb, Mr. John, Tonda 
Smith, t. O. I>q , MalkMal ProviMlal BMik, 

Rmlth. Ml*a M. J.. Oarw Valloy 
Spooceri Mr. DavUl, Flemlnfaton. 8 copies 
Bwootman, Mr. R, Darran Laa, Monateia Ash 
BwlanortoB, Bot. J., St Jobn'a Towlv. 

Talboi, O. R. M., Raq., Marfam Park. Sc^plea 
Tbomaa^ Mr. Kdward, Ponhyddwaolod, aoor 

Tbomat, Mr. Ooorfo. Rly Fkrm. Cardiff 
Thomaa, Mr. K. H., Ca«tlo-«troot, Maoatog 
Thomani Mr. Wm.. Caallo-vtro^t, Maoateg 
Tboniaa, »lr. Wm., Jan.. Caatlenikroot, Mnoatof 
Tbomiia. Mr. Tbnmaa, OddfoUowa* Roft» Mnoa- 

tcff. S oopiea 
TbomiMk Mr. John, Macffr^or>row, VmetlUg 
Tbomat, Mr. M., C:irdlfr Unlvemlty 
Tbomaa. Mr. Ooonro, IJan Villago 
Tbnmaa, .Mr. Thoinaa. Tonyballi, Uaogynwjd 
Tbomn*. Dr. W. H,, Bionyfani, Maoatog. 11 

Kcalo. Robor«» Baq.. Solieltor. Maoatog 
Bboitk & U.. Eaq., U. AI, XsipMloff of 

Thoroaa. Mr. Jwnkin, Cwroffanr 
Tbomaa, MU^ Owen, Brynrynan, Llangynwyd 
Tbomaii, ^r. Thorna*. Rntcher. Oarth 
Tbomaa, Mr. Phillip, .Mill-atreot, • aorlloon 
Tbomaa, >lr Cbarltm, X3. Alm»-road. Mnoatog 
Tbomaa, Mi»a Ann Hafod. naar Swanno 
Tbomaa, ^tr. Dirid. Lomlon 
Tbomaa, Mr. Kran, Llanmrnwyd 
ThomMM, Mr. J. K., Owni»»wrla 
Thnroaa, .Mr. W. Fr^ar'ck. Ponrhtwe^br 
Thom«a, Mr. D. I^aonnrd, Poarhiweoibr 
Thomaa, Mr. William, Mountain Aah 
Tboma% Mr. K4lwarJ(CocA/ar/X Ooidoa Coffot 

Tavern. Caniiff 
Trehemo, J. P.. Krq., Toetrahen 
Trehemo, Mr. KliA^, Maewtotr. 4 ooplaa 
Trehcrno, Mr. Richa^l. Br)'nllywarcb 
Treherne, Mr. David, Penlro. Yatmd 
Torborvilo, CoL T. P., Kwanny Abbay. S 

Tndor. Mr. John, ]ifaoateg 
Tjlor, Dr. K. B., Muaeum Honso, Oiford 

Waiklna. Mr. William. Caerlooa 

Watkin*, .\lr. Paul. Mae^ieff 

Williainii, .Mr. Kvan. MHeateff 

Williamn, Mr. Wm. Bridgend. . 6eopf«a 

William*. Kev. J. O., Nantyffylloa 

WUIiam^ Mr. Richard. Oollyatron, Ltoagynwyd. 

S coploa 
Williama, Mr. Frank. MaeatM 
Wllliama, Mr. Jna.. Maaateg 
WiUiama. Rot. John, Garth, Mteafeg 
Will..ima, Mr. W. a. Bangor Univoraity 
WUiiftm., Mr. Richard, Cwmfelln, naar Maeal^g 
Williama, .M. B., ICtq., KUlay Uonatb SwnnaM: 

4 ooplea 
Williama, Mr., Timber Uarchuit. PMlhcftwl. 
Williama. Mr. D. AboimBfl 
Williama, JMr. J. T. Chattanooga, Tmbmno.U 8. 

SdMOlt WiUiMM, Ur, Ed., OUfMh <